[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Prevalence of Wēnzhōu virus in small mammals in Yunnan Province, China
Jinxia Wang , Xinglou Yang , Haizhou Liu, Li Wang, Jihua Zhou, Xi Han, Yan Zhu, Weihong Yang, Hong Pan, Yunzhi Zhang , Zhengli Shi
Published: February 15, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007049 / This is an uncorrected proof.
Mammarenaviruses are associated with human hemorrhagic fever diseases in Africa and America. Recently, a rodent mammarenavirus, Wēnzhōu virus (WENV) and related viruses, have been reported in China, Cambodia, and Thailand. Moreover, in Cambodia, these viruses were suspected to be associated with human disease. In China, Yunnan Province is famous for its abundant animal and plant diversity and is adjacent to several South-eastern Asia countries. Therefore, it is necessary to know whether WENV-related viruses, or other mammarenaviruses, are prevalent in this province.
Small mammals were trapped, euthanized, and sampled. Mammarenavirus RNA was detected using a nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantified by real-time RT-PCR. A total of 1040 small mammals belonging to 13 genera and 26 species were trapped in Yunnan Province. WENV-related mammarenaviruses were detected in 41 rodent liver samples, mainly in brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) and oriental house rats (R. tanezumi).Viral nucleocapsid protein was detected in liver sections by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Full-length-genomes were amplified by RT-PCR and used for phylogenetic analysis with the MEGA package. Recombination analysis was performed using the SimPlot and Recombination Detection Program.
WENV related viruses circulated in small mammals in Yunnan Province. Whole genome sequence analysis of five selected viral strains showed that these viruses are closely related to WENVs discovered in Asia and form an independent branch in the phylogenetic tree in the WENV clade. Paying attention to investigate the influence of these viruses to public health is essential in the epidemic regions.
Rodents are natural reservoirs of mammarenavirus. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), isolated in Asian countries during the 1990s, has a worldwide distribution and was the first mammarenavirus isolated. In 2014, a second mammarenavirus, Wēnzhōu virus (WENV), was identified in rodents in Zhejiang Province of China and later in Guangdong, Shandong, and Hainan Provinces. Most importantly, WENV or related viruses were reported in Thailand and Cambodia. In Cambodia, the isolated virus was associated with human respiratory diseases. In this study, we detected WENV or related viruses in Yunnan Province and found a high prevalence in rats of two species (Rattus norvegicus and R. tanezumi). Phylogenetic analysis of the complete L and S segments of five strains showed that these viruses form an independent phylogenetic branch in WENV clade most closely related to WENVs found in China and Cambodia. Considering the wide spread distribution of rats and altered distribution patterns due to ecological changes, we propose that these viruses may have a wider prevalence and be found in countries from South-eastern Asia to China. Given that WENV may be associated with human diseases, it is necessary to improve surveillances of these viruses in their natural reservoirs and in humans.
Citation: Wang J, Yang X, Liu H, Wang L, Zhou J, Han X, et al. (2019) Prevalence of Wēnzhōu virus in small mammals in Yunnan Province, China. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(2): e0007049. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007049
Editor: Townsend Peterson, The University of Kansas, UNITED STATES
Received: April 29, 2018; Accepted: December 4, 2018; Published: February 15, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.
Funding: This work was jointly funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81874274 and 81660558), a Scientific and Technological Basis Special Project grant (2013FY113500) from the Ministry of Science and Technology of PR China, Yunnan health training project of high level talents (L-2017027). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Mammarenavirus; LCMV; Wenzhou virus; Human; Wildlife; Yunnan; China.