Orthohantaviruses are transmitted to humans mostly through small mammals that are the reservoirs of these viruses. Because orthohantaviruses show high genetic variability through geographic regions, the genetic characterization of these viruses with whole genome sequencing is of great importance to clarify the molecular epidemiology and track their genetic changes in the reservoir hosts. We have previously reported the presence of Dobrava-Belgrade orthohantavirus (DOBV) in the Igneada region, Kirklareli province by showing antibodies against the virus in rodents and by sequencing partial genomes of the virus. Here we report the whole genome sequencing of DOBV Igneada strain directly from Apodemus flavicollis’ lung tissue by next-generation sequencing followed by phylogenetic analyses. In addition, viral protein structures of DOBV Igneada strain were modelled, and in silico prediction analyses of amino acid changes on viral protein function and stability were performed.
The phylogenetic analysis showed a close relation between the DOBV Igneada strain from Turkey and DOBV Ano-Poroia strain from Greece. Similarity plot analysis revealed also similarities between DOBV Igneada strain and other DOBV strains from the Balkans such as Greece, Croatia, and Slovenia. Additionally, in silico prediction suggested that G318E, Y322H, and S324P mutations on Gn glycoprotein are deleterious, and all amino acid changes decrease the stability of both Gn and Gc glycoproteins.
In conclusion, full orthohantaviral genomes can be obtained directly from rodent lung tissues allowing detailed genetic and structural analyses of orthohantaviruses. The DOBV Igneada strain shows great similarity to the prototype Ano-Poroia strain, yet it was predicted that DOBV Igneada strain may have some changes on its pathogenicity and its structure warranting further research.