Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21108346
J. Med. Virol. 2011 Jan;83(1):108-14
In Europe, Dobrava-Belgrade (DOBV), Saaremaa (SAAV), and Puumala (PUUV) viruses are known to cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). All three hantaviruses are now found in Croatia. Lung tissue samples of 315 Apodemus mice trapped in 2003-2004 were screened for the presence of hantaviral N-Ag and 20 mice (6.3%) were found either strongly positive or weak/suspected-positive. Partial sequences of hantavirus M and S segments were recovered by RT-PCR from six mice and subjected to (phylo)genetic analysis that revealed the presence of four novel strains of DOBV and one of SAAV. Curiously, one of the newly described DOBV strains was found in Apodemus agrarius mouse, that is, not in the traditional host, A. flavicollis mice, suggesting a spillover event. S segment sequences recovered previously from HFRS cases [Markotić et al., 2002] were confirmed as DOBV sequences; one of which appeared particularly close to the prototype Slovenian DOBV isolate. Taken together with earlier data on PUUV in Croatia, these results show a co-circulation of three European hantavirus pathogens in this country. So far, not a single SAAV sequence has been recovered from HFRS patients either in Croatia or neighboring Slovenia and Hungary nor in Slovakia suggesting a somewhat lower fequency of acute SAAV infection in humans in this part of Europe than for example in the Baltics.