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High Prevalence of Hantavirus Infection in the European Mole

20 September 2013


One of the most highly divergent lineages of hantaviruses is represented by Nova virus (NVAV), originally detected in archival liver tissue from a single European mole (Talpa europaea), captured in Zala County, Hungary, in July 1999. As evidenced by RT-PCR and confirmed by DNA sequencing, a high prevalence of NVAV infection, exceeding 60%, has been found among European moles in two sites in France, suggesting efficient enzootic virus transmission and a well-established, long-standing reservoir host-hantavirus relationship. It is likely that NVAV occurs throughout the vast distribution of the European mole, much like SWSV is widespread in the Eurasian common shrew throughout Europe and Asia. The rodent homologues are Puumala virus in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Europe and Sin Nombre virus in the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) in North America.