Soochong virus: an antigenically and genetically distinct hantavirus isolated from Apodemus peninsulae in Korea

J Med Virol. 2006 Feb;78(2):290-7. doi: 10.1002/jmv.20538.


Hantaan (HTN) virus, the etiologic agent of clinically severe hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), was first isolated in 1976 from lung tissue of a striped-field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) captured in Songnae-ri, Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea. Found primarily in mountainous areas, the Korean field mouse (A. peninsulae) is the second-most dominant field rodent species found throughout Korea. A new hantavirus, designated Soochong (SOO), was isolated in Vero E6 cells from four A. peninsulae captured in August 1997 at Mt. Gyebang in Hongcheon-gun, Mt. Gachil, Inje-gun, Gangwon Province, and in September 1998 at Mt. Deogyu, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk Province. The entire S, M, and L genomic segments of SOO virus, amplified by RT-PCR from lung tissues of seropositive A. peninsulae and from virus-infected Vero E6 cells, diverged from HTN virus (strain 76-118) by 15.6%, 22.8%, and 21.7% at the nucleotide level and 3.5%, 9.5%, and 4.6% at the amino acid level, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences, using the maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining methods, indicated that SOO virus was distinct from A. agrarius-borne HTN virus. SOO virus shared a common ancestry with Amur virus from Far East Russia, as well as with H5 and B78 hantaviruses, previously isolated from HFRS patients in China. Cross-focus-reduction neutralizating antibody tests showed that SOO virus, which is the first hantavirus isolated in cell culture from A. peninsulae, could be classified as a new hantavirus serotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cross Reactions
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology*
  • Genome, Viral
  • Hantavirus Infections / blood
  • Hantavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Hantavirus Infections / virology*
  • Korea
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Murinae / virology*
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Orthohantavirus / classification*
  • Orthohantavirus / genetics
  • Orthohantavirus / immunology
  • Orthohantavirus / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Vero Cells


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral