Three genetically distinct members of the Hantavirus genus have been detected in Nevada rodents by RT-PCR and nucleotide sequence analysis. These include Sin Nombre (SN), El Moro Canyon (ELMC), and Prospect Hill (PH)-like viruses which are primarily associated with Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mouse), Reithrodontomys megalotis (western harvest mouse), and Microtus spp. (voles), respectively. Although this region of the United States is ecologically diverse, rodents infected with different hantaviruses appear to coexist in several different geographical and ecological zones. In two widely separated states, Nevada and North Dakota, PH-like viruses are present in three different species of vole. In addition, ELMC-like virus has been detected in both R. megalotis and M. montanus (mountain vole). SN virus is a cause of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome throughout much of the United States. SN virus RNA is found in 12.5% of P. maniculatus in Nevada and eastern California. Two lineages of SN virus coexist in this region and differ from SN viruses originally found in infected rodents in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. These data show the complexity of hantavirus maintenance in rodents. Distinct hantaviruses or virus lineages can coexist either in different or the same rodent species and in either different or tile same geographic or ecological zones.
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