Asama virus

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Asama virus
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((−)ssRNA)
Order: Unassigned
Family: Bunyaviridae
Genus: Hantavirus
Species: Asama virus

Asama virus (ASAV) is a single-stranded, enveloped, negative-sense RNA hantavirus.[1] The hantavirus was found in Japan after analyzing a Japanese shrew mole.[1] Hantaviruses harbored by shrews are genetically closer to ASAV than to hantaviruses harbored by rodents.[1] Host-switching may be evident in the future due to the viruses closeness to soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses.[1] The detection of the asama virus was the first hantavirus found in the family Talpidae, which includes shrew moles.[2] Thoughts on hantavirus evolutionary history has expanded due to the discovery of ASAV.[1]

Natural reservoir[edit]

Asama virus was isolated through RNA extracts from lung tissues of the Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides), captured in Japan between February and April 2008. It is one of the first hantaviruses found in a mole.


Asama virus is genetically closer to other hantaviruses harbored by shrews than by rodents. However, the nucleocapsid protein is similar to that of rodent and shrew-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses positions it closest to soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses. This suggests a possible host-switching event in the distant past.

Asama virus is related to soricine shrew-borne hantaviruses that are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. This relation was discovered through phylogenetic analyses. The relationship between the two hantaviruses may suggest parallel evolution associated with cross-species transmission.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Arai S, Ohdachi SD, Asakawa M, Kang HJ, Mocz G, Arikawa J, Okabe N, Yanagihara R.Molecular phylogeny of a newfound hantavirus in the Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides).Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.2008 Oct 21;105(42):16296–301.
  2. ^ Morand, Serge; Beaudeau, François; Cabaret, Jacques (2011-09-08). New Frontiers of Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789400721142. 
  3. ^ Bennett, Shannon N., Laurie Diznie, Laarni Sumibcay, Satoru Arai, Luis A. Ruedas, Jin-Won Song, and Richard Yanagihara. "Host Switch during Evolution of a Genetically Distinct Hantavirus in the American Shrew Mole (Neurotrichus Gibbsii)." Virology. By Hi Ji Kang. 1st ed. Vol. 388. N.p.: n.p., 2009. 8-14. Print.

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