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Viruses 2015, 7(7), 3420-3442; doi:10.3390/v7072779

Experimental Inoculation of Egyptian Rousette Bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) with Viruses of the Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus Genera

1
Viral Special Pathogens Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
2
Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 501 D.W. Brooks, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3
Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
Current address: Wildlife Disease Laboratories, Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, 15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jens H. Kuhn
Received: 14 May 2015 / Revised: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Advances in Ebolavirus, Marburgvirus, and Cuevavirus Research)
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Abstract

The Egyptian rousette bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) is a natural reservoir for marburgviruses and a consistent source of virus spillover to humans. Cumulative evidence suggests various bat species may also transmit ebolaviruses. We investigated the susceptibility of Egyptian rousettes to each of the five known ebolaviruses (Sudan, Ebola, Bundibugyo, Taï Forest, and Reston), and compared findings with Marburg virus. In a pilot study, groups of four juvenile bats were inoculated with one of the ebolaviruses or Marburg virus. In ebolavirus groups, viral RNA tissue distribution was limited, and no bat became viremic. Sudan viral RNA was slightly more widespread, spurring a second, 15-day Sudan virus serial euthanasia study. Low levels of Sudan viral RNA disseminated to multiple tissues at early time points, but there was no viremia or shedding. In contrast, Marburg virus RNA was widely disseminated, with viremia, oral and rectal shedding, and antigen in spleen and liver. This is the first experimental infection study comparing tissue tropism, viral shedding, and clinical and pathologic effects of six different filoviruses in the Egyptian rousette, a known marburgvirus reservoir. Our results suggest Egyptian rousettes are unlikely sources for ebolaviruses in nature, and support a possible single filovirus—single reservoir host relationship. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ebolavirus; Marburgvirus; Rousettus aegyptiacus; Egyptian rousette bat; reservoir host; experimental infection study Ebolavirus; Marburgvirus; Rousettus aegyptiacus; Egyptian rousette bat; reservoir host; experimental infection study
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jones, M.E.; Schuh, A.J.; Amman, B.R.; Sealy, T.K.; Zaki, S.R.; Nichol, S.T.; Towner, J.S. Experimental Inoculation of Egyptian Rousette Bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) with Viruses of the Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus Genera. Viruses 2015, 7, 3420-3442.

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