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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.
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.
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
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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.