Complete genome sequence and molecular phylogeny of a newfound hantavirus harbored by the Doucet's musk shrew (Crocidura douceti) in Guinea

Infect Genet Evol. 2013 Dec;20:118-23. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2013.08.016. Epub 2013 Aug 27.


Elucidation of the molecular phylogeny of shrew-borne hantaviruses in sub-Saharan Africa has been hampered by the lack of full-length viral genomes. In this report, we present the complete genome analysis of a newfound hantavirus, designated Bowé virus, detected in ethanol-fixed intercostal muscle of a Doucet's musk shrew (Crocidura douceti), captured in southwestern Guinea in February 2012. Full-length amino acid sequence comparison of the S-, M- and L-segment gene products revealed that Bowé virus differed by 24.1-53.4%, 17.0-59.9% and 14.6-39.7%, respectively, from all other representative rodent-, shrew- and mole-borne hantaviruses. Phylogenetic analysis, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, under the GTR+I+Γ model of evolution, showed that Bowé virus shared a common ancestry with Tanganya virus, a hantavirus detected in the Therese's shrew (Crocidura theresae) in Guinea. Whole genome analysis of many more hantaviruses from sub-Saharan Africa are needed to better clarify how the radiation of African shrews might have contributed to the phylogeography of hantaviruses.

Keywords: Crocidura; Guinea; Hantavirus; Phylogeny; Shrew.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Genome, Viral / genetics
  • Guinea
  • Hantavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Hantavirus Infections / virology
  • Intercostal Muscles / virology
  • Orthohantavirus / classification*
  • Orthohantavirus / genetics*
  • Orthohantavirus / isolation & purification
  • Phylogeny
  • Phylogeography
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Shrews / virology*


  • RNA, Viral