Virologica Sinica

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 290–297 | Cite as

Detection and characterization of three zoonotic viruses in wild rodents and shrews from Shenzhen city, China

  • Bo Wang
  • Chun-Lin Cai
  • Bei Li
  • Wei Zhang
  • Yan Zhu
  • Wei-Hong Chen
  • Fei Zhuo
  • Zheng-Li Shi
  • Xing-Lou YangEmail author
Research Article


Diverse species of rodents and shrews, which are abundant worldwide, harbor a variety of viruses; some of these are closely related to human viruses and possess zoonotic potential. Previously studies have demonstrated that the mammarenavirus and hantavirus carried by rodents or shrews could cause diseases in human population. To determine the distribution of zoonotic viruses in Shenzhen city, the major city in southern China with a high population density, we analyzed 225 rodents (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus flavipectus) and 196 shrews (Suncus murinus) from urban and rural districts for the presence of mammarenavirus, hantavirus, and hepatitis E virus (HEV) by RT-PCR targeting the conserved regions. The infection rates for mammarenavirus, hantaviruses, and HEV in rodents and shrews were 3.56%, 6.89%, and 1.66%, respectively. Partial genome fragment analysis indicated that mammarenavirus and hantavirus strains had more than 90% and 99% nucleic acid identity with Cardamones virus and Seoul virus, respectively, which cause diseases in humans. Although the present HEV strains identified are typically found worldwide, phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a divergence of 16%. To our knowledge, the present work is the first report of the prevalence of mammarenavirus, hantaviruses, and rat HEV strains in rodents and shrews from Shenzhen city, China. Our findings highlight the zoonotic potential of rodent- and shrew-borne mammarenavirus and hantavirus, and the biodiversity of rat HEV isolates in Shenzhen city. The present work suggests that utilization of good hygiene habits is important to minimize the risk of zoonosis.


mammarenavirus hantavirus hepatitis E virus (HEV) Shenzhen city 



This work was jointly funded by the Scientific and Technological Basis Special Project (2013FY113500), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81290341), and the China Mega-Project for Infectious Disease (2014ZX10004001-003) from the Minister of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China to ZL S and the Basic Research Project of Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Program (JCYJ2015 0402102519532) to CLCai. BW was supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC), Beijing, China.

Author Contributions

XLY and ZLS designed and coordinated the study. CLC collected samples. XLY, CLC, BW, BL, WZ and YZ performed molecular studies. XLY and BW analyzed the data. BW, CLC, ZLS and XLY drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This study was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Animal ethics approval number: WIVA05201202). All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens, Wuhan Institute of VirologyChinese Academy of ScienceWuhanChina
  2. 2.Luohu Center for Disease Control and PreventionShenzhenChina

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