PMID: 9371614Nov 26, 1997Paper

Cell culture adaptation of Puumala hantavirus changes the infectivity for its natural reservoir, Clethrionomys glareolus, and leads to accumulation of mutants with altered genomic RNA S segment

Journal of Virology
Ake LundkvistAlexander Plyusnin


This paper reports the establishment of a model for hantavirus host adaptation. Wild-type (wt) (bank vole-passaged) and Vero E6 cell-cultured variants of Puumala virus strain Kazan were analyzed for their virologic and genetic properties. The wt variant was well adapted for reproduction in bank voles but not in cell culture, while the Vero E6 strains replicated to much higher efficiency in cell culture but did not reproducibly infect bank voles. Comparison of the consensus sequences of the respective viral genomes revealed no differences in the coding region of the S gene. However, the noncoding regions of the S gene were found to be different at positions 26 and 1577. In one additional and independent adaptation experiment, all analyzed cDNA clones from the Vero E6-adapted variant were found to carry substitutions at position 1580 of the S segment, just 3 nucleotides downstream of the mutation observed in the first adaptation. No differences were found in the consensus sequences of the entire M segments from the wt and the Vero E6-adapted variants. The results indicated different impacts of the S and the M genomic segments for the adaptation process and selective advantages for the variants that carried altered noncoding seque...Continue Reading


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