Notes on Genus: Hantavirus

enveloped spheres
enveloped spheres

Type member: Hantaan virus


General Description

This is one of the four animal virus genera in the family Bunyaviridae. No non-structural proteins have been identified and the coat protein (N gene) is substantially larger than those of the genera Orthobunyavirus or Phlebovirus. The name is derived from the type member, originally isolated from near the Hantaan river, in South Korea.


Virions pleomorphic in shape and size, spheroidal and enveloped, 80-110 nm in diameter. 3 filamentous nucleocapsids per envelope, each 200-3000 nm long (depending on arrangement) and 2-2.5 nm in diameter. Symmetry helical.

Virions composed of 1-2 % nucleic acid, over 50 % protein and 20-30 % lipid.


Linear, tripartite negative sense ssRNA: L (c.6500 nt), M (c.3600 nt) and S (1700-2100 nt).

Genus Genomic Organization

Translation of the RNAs produces a polymerase (RNA-L), a protein precursor which is cleaved into two glycoproteins (RNA-M), and the coat protein (RNA-S).

Type Member Genomic Organization

All the RNAs are translated from the complementary strand:
  1. RNA-L produces a single protein (L) of 246.5 kDa (RNA polymerase)
  2. RNA-M produces a protein precursor of 126.4 kDa, from which two mature proteins are generated:
    • Glycoprotein G1 (63.0 kDa)
    • Glycoprotein G2 (52.9 kDa)
  3. RNA-S produces the N (nucleocapsid, or coat protein) protein of 48.1 kDa