Serological divergence of Dobrava and Saaremaa hantaviruses: evidence for two distinct serotypes
In order to investigate the serological relationship of Dobrava hantavirus (DOBV, originating from Slovenia) and the Dobrava-like Saaremaa virus (SAAV, recently discovered in Estonia) we analysed 37 human serum samples, 24 from Estonia and 13 from the Balkans, by focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT). Most of the Estonian sera (19), including all sera from Saaremaa island (12), reacted with higher FRNT end-point titres to the local SAAV; the majority of them (15 and 11, respectively), with at least fourfold or higher titres to SAAV than to DOBV. In contrast, out of the 13 sera collected in Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece, only one reacted more strongly with SAAV (with a twofold higher titre), while 10 of these sera reacted more strongly with the local DOBV (9/10 with fourfold or higher titres). These results indicate that DOBV and SAAV define unique hantavirus serotypes.(Accepted July 27 2001)
c1 Author for correspondence: Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, SE-171 82 Stockholm, Sweden.