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12:00 PM  September 3, 2021

TSU biologists as part of the international team found new hantavirus

© с сайта ТГУTSU biologists as part of the international team found new hantavirus

TOMSK, Sep 3 RIA Tomsk. Scientists of the Biological Institute of Tomsk State University (BIO TSU) as part of a team of researchers from Russia, Japan and the USA have published a scientific paper analyzing the kinship of hantaviruses identified in Siberia; the data suggest the existence of a new LENV virus in Eastern Siberia, the university's press service reported.

It is explained that hantaviruses are a special type of virus carried by rodents. They are dangerous for humans because they can cause the development of hemorrhagic fever. The work conducted by an international team of scientists was dedicated to the study of poorly studied hantavirus species SWSV (Seewis) and ALTV (Altai) in shrews in the Asian part of Russia.

"The materials obtained allowed us to clarify the distribution of the ALTV virus described on the basis of finds from Lake Teletskoye. For the first time in Siberia, after its description, this hantavirus species was registered in the Tomsk region, where a high infection rate of shrews with the studied hantaviruses was noted", – says the report.

The Common shrew (Sorex araneus) can be considered the main vector of SWSV and ALTV. Full genome analysis has revealed that ALTV is a new strain of hantavirus. There is no data on human infection with these viruses, so more research is needed to establish the extent to which the viruses under study are dangerous to humans, the university said.

"In addition, the data obtained by our research team suggest the existence of a new virus, LENV, on the territory of Eastern Siberia. LENV is still poorly studied and has not been described as an independent virus. More data are needed. The first samples with it were collected from the Lena River in Yakutia", – the press service quotes a researcher of the BIO TSU Alexander Zhigalin.

© с сайта ТГУ
Scientist of the Biological Institute of TSU Alexander Zhigalin
Human hantavirus infection most often occurs through contact with the life products of an infected animal. To reduce the risk of hantavirus infection, one should avoid accumulating rubbish and dead wood, as this attracts rodents and insectivores. It is advisable to wear gloves when working in the countryside or in the woods. This will also reduce the risk of infection with other naturally occurring infections, such as tularemia, emphasises the report.



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