Special Issue "Viruses and Bats"


A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2014

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Patrick C.Y. Woo
Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, University Pathology Building, Queen Mary Hospital Compound, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Website: http://www.microbiology.hku.hk/staff/staff_hp/Dr_Patrick_Woo.html
E-Mail: pcywoo@hkucc.hku.hk
Phone: +852 2255 4715
Fax: +852 2855 1241

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traditionally, bats are known to be reservoirs of important viruses associated with fatal infections in human, such as rabies virus, Ebola virus, Nipah virus and Hendra virus. Among reported viruses associated with bats, most are RNA viruses. Certain families of bats including the Pteropodidae, Molossidae, Phyllostomidae, and Vespertilionidae are most frequently associated with known human pathogens. The natural reservoir for SARS coronavirus, which has caused more than 700 deaths globally, was eventually found to be horseshoe bats. In the recent ten years, the use of conventional PCR/RT-PCR as well as metagenomics and next generation sequencing technologies have led to the discovery of an unprecedented number of novel viruses in bats, including some virus families (e.g. picornaviruses) that have never been reported in bats. Recently, bats were also found to be the reservoir of a novel subtype of influenza virus. The present Special issue covers a wide range of topics related to “bats and viruses”.

Prof. Dr. Patrick C.Y. Woo
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Published Papers (3 papers)

Viruses 2014, 6(4), 1759-1788; doi:10.3390/v6041759 (doi registration under processing)
Received: 1 February 2014; in revised form: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1641 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Viruses 2014, 6(4), 1564-1577; doi:10.3390/v6041564
Received: 28 January 2014; in revised form: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (789 KB) | Download XML Full-text |  Supplementary Files

Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2679-2689; doi:10.3390/v5112679
Received: 27 September 2013; in revised form: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 31 October 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (336 KB) | Download XML Full-text

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Potential for Incursion of Bat-borne Zoonotic Viruses into the EU
Authors: Robin Simons *, Paul Gale, Verity Horigan, Emma Snary and Andrew Breed
Affiliation: Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), Epidemiology, Surveillance & Risk Group, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, UK, KT15 3NB
Abstract: Bat-borne viruses are a serious threat to human health, with examples of outbreaks due to Nipah virus (NiV) in Bangladesh and Malaysia and Ebola virus and Marburg virus (MARV) in Africa. To date, significant human outbreaks have not been reported in the Europe Union (EU), but there have been isolated incidents such as the case of a Dutch tourist returning from Uganda infected with MARV. However, through factors such as trade and human travel, EU countries have strong links with many of the countries where these viruses are endemic or emerging. Together with other factors, such as illegal trafficking of bushmeat, bat migration, and even bat strike on aircraft or bats in aircraft cabins these links could pose a potential risk of introduction of bat viruses into the EU. In assessing the risks of introduction to the EU it is important to consider the location and range of bat species known to be susceptible to infection, together with the prevalence, seasonality (some viruses, such as MARV, exhibit seasonal pulses in bat species), duration of infection and titres of virus in different bat tissues. We review the current scientific knowledge of all these factors, in relation to the incursion of bat-borne viruses into the European Union (EU).  We also rank the EU MSs by levels of relevant trade and human travel from areas where NiV and MARV are likely to be present, to infer the relative risk of introduction of NiV and MARV between EU MSs from these routes.

Type of Paper:
Title: Lyssavirus Infections of Bats: Emergence and Zoonotic Threat
Author: Ashley C. Banyard
Affiliation: Wildlife Zoonoses and Vector Borne Disease Research Group, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
Abstract: The continued detection of zoonotic viral infections in bats has led to the microbial fauna of these mammals being studied at a greater level than ever before. Whilst numerous pathogens have been discovered in bat species, infection with lyssaviruses is of particular significance from a zoonotic perspective as, where human infection has been reported, infection is invariably fatal. Here we review the detection of lyssaviruses within different bat species and overview what is understood regarding their maintenance and transmission following both experimental and natural infection. We discuss the relevance of these pathogens as zoonotic agents and the threat of newly discovered viruses to human populations.

Type of Paper:
Title: Getting Prepared Against Future Zoonotic Transmission: Three-dimensional Structures of Bat-coronavirus Main Proteases and their Use in Designing Antivirals
Authors: Qingjun Ma, Yibei Xiao, Linlin Zhang, Daizong Lin and Rolf Hilgenfeld
Affiliation: Institute of Biochemistry, university of Lübeck. Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538Lübeck, Germany. Email: hilgenfeld@biochem.uni-luebeck.de
Abstract: At least four of the six known human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and the newly emerging MERS-CoV, very likely originated from bat reservoirs. We have therefore initiated a research project in which we determine the three-dimensional structures of the main protease (also called 3C-like protease) of various bat coronaviruses. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, we have established the main protease of human coronaviruses as a suitable antiviral drug target. In preparation against future zoonotic transmission of one or the other bat coronavirus, we design inhibitors of the respective main proteases on the basis of our structural findings and synthesize them. One compound that we created this way has already shown good activity against MERS-CoV in virus-infected cell culture. Potentially, this approach can save years of preclinical research in case of an human epidemic caused by the zoonotic transmission of bat coronaviruses. This article will report the current state of the project.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Detection of Coronaviruses in Various Bat Species in Italy
Authors: Davide Lelli 1,*,#, Alice Papetti1 1, #, Cristiano Sabelli 2, Enrica Rosti 3, Ana Moreno 1 and Maria Beatrice Boniotti 1
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna, Via Bianchi 9, 25124 Brescia, Italy ; E-mails: alice.papetti@izsler.it (A.P.); anamaria.morenomartin@izsler.it (A.M.); mariabeatrice.boniotti@izsler.it (M.B.)
Present address: IZO s.r.l, Via S. Zeno 99/A, 25124 Brescia, Italy. E-mail: cristianosabelli@izo.it (C.S.)
Centro Fauna Selvatica “Il Pettirosso”, Via Nonantolana 1217, Modena (Italy);  E-mail: enrica.rosti@gmail.com (E.R.); * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail: davide.lelli@izsler.it; Tel.: +39-030-2290361; Fax: +32-030-2290535; # Equal contributors
Abstract : Bats are natural reservoirs for most mammalian coronaviruses, which are receiving renewed interest after the discovery of the novel MERS-CoV in humans. This study describes the identification and molecular characterization of alpha and betacoronaviruses in Italian bats from 2010 to 2012. Sixty-nine faecal samples and 126 carcasses were tested using pan-coronavirus RT-PCR. Coronavirus RNAs were detected in seven faecal samples and nine carcasses. A phylogenetic analysis of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence fragments aided in identifying two alphacoronaviruses from Pipistrellus khulii, three clade 2b betacoronaviruses from Rhinolophus hipposideros and ten clade 2c betacoronaviruses from Pipistrellus khulii, Nyctalus noctula and Hypsugo savii.

Last update: 3 February 2014

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