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Viruses 2014, 6(9), 3438-3449; doi:10.3390/v6093438

Unusual Influenza A Viruses in Bats

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
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Abstract

Influenza A viruses infect a remarkably diverse number of hosts. Two completely new influenza A virus subtypes were recently discovered in bats, dramatically expanding the host range of the virus. These bat viruses are extremely divergent from all other known strains and likely have unique replication cycles. Phylogenetic analysis indicates long-term, isolated evolution in bats. This is supported by a high seroprevalence in sampled bat populations. As bats represent ~20% of all classified mammals, these findings suggests the presence of a massive cryptic reservoir of poorly characterized influenza A viruses. Here, we review the exciting progress made on understanding these newly discovered viruses, and discuss their zoonotic potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: influenza virus; bats; cross-species transmission; Orthomyxoviridae; host range influenza virus; bats; cross-species transmission; Orthomyxoviridae; host range
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Mehle, A. Unusual Influenza A Viruses in Bats. Viruses 2014, 6, 3438-3449.

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