Orthohantaviruses are globally distributed viruses, associated with rodents and other small mammals. However, data on the circulation of orthohantaviruses within the UK, particularly the UK-endemic Tatenale virus, is sparse. In this study, 531 animals from five rodent species were collected from two locations in northern and central England and screened using a degenerate, pan- orthohantavirus RT-PCR assay. Tatenale virus was detected in a single field vole (Microtus agrestis) from central England and twelve field voles from northern England. Unbiased high-throughput sequencing of the central English strain resulted in the recovery of the complete coding sequence of a novel strain of Tatenale virus, whilst PCR-primer walking of the northern English strain recovered almost complete coding sequence of a previously identified strain. These findings represented the detection of a third lineage of Tatenale virus in the United Kingdom and extended the known geographic distribution of these viruses from northern to central England. Furthermore, the recovery of the complete coding sequence revealed that Tatenale virus was sufficiently related to the recently identified Traemersee virus, to meet the accepted criteria for classification as a single species of orthohantavirus.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Medical Research Council studentship award, grant number 1651320.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Field vole
- High-throughput sequencing
- United Kingdom
- Virus discovery