The hantavirus genus, belonging to the bunyaviridae family, is comprised of at least four serologically distinct types: Hantaan, Seoul, Puumala and Prospect Hill. Previously, we reported the use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for grouping hantavirus isolates by using four sets of primers specific to each serotype. Our PCR typing results agreed with those of serological typing. The present study makes use of thermal cycle sequencing to sequence PCR-amplified DNA products in order to determine the level of similarity among members of the same serotype. We show that members of Hantaan and Seoul serotypes are over 92% homologous, irrespective of their host and geographical origin. Puumala sequences show a degree of homology ranging from 80 to 98%. Despite the variation in sequence at the nucleotide level, amino acids show an even higher level of conservation. © 1993.
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