The antigenic and genetic properties of 46 hantaviruses from China, 13 from patients, 23 from rodents, and 10 from unknown hosts, were compared with those of other hantaviruses. The viruses were classified as either Hantaan (HTN) or Seoul (SEO) viruses. A phylogenetic analysis of the partial M (300 bp) and S (around 485 bp) genomes of HTN viruses identified nine distinct genetic subtypes, one consisting of isolates from Korea. The SEO viruses were divided into five genetic subtypes, although they had less variability than the HTN subtypes. There was a correlation between the subtype and province of origin for four subtypes of HTN viruses, confirming geographical clustering. Hantaan virus NC167 isolated from Niviventer confucianus and SEO virus Gou3 isolated from Rattus rattus were the basal clades in each virus. The phylogenetic trees constructed from the entire S and M segments suggested that NC167 was introduced to N. confucianus in a host-switching event. The reactivity of a panel of 35 monoclonal antibodies was almost exactly the same in NC167 and a representative HTN virus and in Gou3 and a representative SEO virus. However, there was a one-way cross-neutralization between them. These results confirm the varied nature of Murinae-associated hantaviruses in China.
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