Revisiting the genetic diversity of emerging hantaviruses circulating in Europe using a pan-viral resequencing microarray
Hantaviruses are zoonotic agents transmitted from small mammals, mainly rodents, to humans, where they provoke diseases such as Hemorrhagic fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) and its mild form, Nephropathia Epidemica (NE), or Hantavirus Cardio-Pulmonary Syndrome (HCPS). Hantaviruses are spread worldwide and monitoring animal reservoirs is of primary importance to control the zoonotic risk. Here, we describe the development of a pan-viral resequencing microarray (PathogenID v3.0) able to explore the genetic diversity of rodent-borne hantaviruses endemic in Europe. Among about 800 sequences tiled on the microarray, 52 correspond to a tight molecular sieve of hantavirus probes covering a large genetic landscape. RNAs from infected animal tissues or from laboratory strains have been reverse transcribed, amplified, then hybridized to the microarray. A classical BLASTN analysis applied to the sequence delivered through the microarray allows to identify the hantavirus species up to the exact geographical variant present in the tested samples. Geographical variants of the most common European hantaviruses from France, Germany, Slovenia and Finland, such as Puumala virus, Dobrava virus and Tula virus, were genetically discriminated. Furthermore, we precisely characterized geographical variants still unknown when the chip was conceived, such as Seoul virus isolates, recently emerged in France and the United Kingdom.