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Special Issue "Viruses and Bats"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 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 | E-Mail
Phone: +852 2255 4715
Fax: +852 2855 1241
Interests: microbial genomics; microbial metabolomics; novel microbes discovery; emerging infectious diseases

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

Submission

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 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Seroprevalence Dynamics of European Bat Lyssavirus Type 1 in a Multispecies Bat Colony
Viruses 2014, 6(9), 3386-3399; doi:10.3390/v6093386
Received: 24 April 2014 / Revised: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report an active surveillance study of the occurrence of specific antibodies to European Bat Lyssavirus Type 1 (EBLV-1) in bat species, scarcely studied hitherto, that share the same refuge. From 2004 to 2012, 406 sera were obtained from nine bat species. Blood
[...] Read more.
We report an active surveillance study of the occurrence of specific antibodies to European Bat Lyssavirus Type 1 (EBLV-1) in bat species, scarcely studied hitherto, that share the same refuge. From 2004 to 2012, 406 sera were obtained from nine bat species. Blood samples were subjected to a modified fluorescent antibody virus neutralization test to determine the antibody titer. EBLV-1-neutralizing antibodies were detected in six of the nine species analyzed (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. kuhlii, Hypsugo savii, Plecotus austriacus, Eptesicus serotinus and Tadarida teniotis). Among all bats sampled, female seroprevalence (20.21%, 95% CI: 14.78%–26.57%) was not significantly higher than the seroprevalence in males (15.02%, 95% CI: 10.51%–20.54%). The results showed that the inter-annual variation in the number of seropositive bats in T. teniotis and P. austriacus showed a peak in 2007 (>70% of EBLV-1 prevalence). However, significant differences were observed in the temporal patterns of the seroprevalence modeling of T. teniotis and P. austriacus. The behavioral ecology of these species involved could explain the different annual fluctuations in EBLV-1 seroprevalence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessArticle Evidence for Retrovirus and Paramyxovirus Infection of Multiple Bat Species in China
Viruses 2014, 6(5), 2138-2154; doi:10.3390/v6052138
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 27 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1047 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bats are recognized reservoirs for many emerging zoonotic viruses of public health importance. Identifying and cataloguing the viruses of bats is a logical approach to evaluate the range of potential zoonoses of bat origin. We characterized the fecal pathogen microbiome of both insectivorous
[...] Read more.
Bats are recognized reservoirs for many emerging zoonotic viruses of public health importance. Identifying and cataloguing the viruses of bats is a logical approach to evaluate the range of potential zoonoses of bat origin. We characterized the fecal pathogen microbiome of both insectivorous and frugivorous bats, incorporating 281 individual bats comprising 20 common species, which were sampled in three locations of Yunnan province, by combining reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays and next-generation sequencing. Seven individual bats were paramyxovirus-positive by RT-PCR using degenerate primers, and these paramyxoviruses were mainly classified into three genera (Rubulavirus, Henipavirus and Jeilongvirus). Various additional novel pathogens were detected in the paramyxovirus-positive bats using Illumina sequencing. A total of 7066 assembled contigs (≥200 bp) were constructed, and 105 contigs matched eukaryotic viruses (of them 103 belong to 2 vertebrate virus families, 1 insect virus, and 1 mycovirus), 17 were parasites, and 4913 were homologous to prokaryotic microorganisms. Among the 103 vertebrate viral contigs, 79 displayed low identity (<70%) to known viruses including human viruses at the amino acid level, suggesting that these belong to novel and genetically divergent viruses. Overall, the most frequently identified viruses, particularly in bats from the family Hipposideridae, were retroviruses. The present study expands our understanding of the bat virome in species commonly found in Yunnan, China, and provides insight into the overall diversity of viruses that may be capable of directly or indirectly crossing over into humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview European Bats as Carriers of Viruses with Zoonotic Potential
Viruses 2014, 6(8), 3110-3128; doi:10.3390/v6083110
Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (786 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bats are being increasingly recognized as reservoir hosts of highly pathogenic and zoonotic emerging viruses (Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Rabies virus, and coronaviruses). While numerous studies have focused on the mentioned highly human-pathogenic bat viruses in tropical regions, little is known
[...] Read more.
Bats are being increasingly recognized as reservoir hosts of highly pathogenic and zoonotic emerging viruses (Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Rabies virus, and coronaviruses). While numerous studies have focused on the mentioned highly human-pathogenic bat viruses in tropical regions, little is known on similar human-pathogenic viruses that may be present in European bats. Although novel viruses are being detected, their zoonotic potential remains unclear unless further studies are conducted. At present, it is assumed that the risk posed by bats to the general public is rather low. In this review, selected viruses detected and isolated in Europe are discussed from our point of view in regard to their human-pathogenic potential. All European bat species and their roosts are legally protected and some European species are even endangered. Nevertheless, the increasing public fear of bats and their viruses is an obstacle to their protection. Educating the public regarding bat lyssaviruses might result in reduced threats to both the public and the bats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessReview Lyssaviruses and Bats: Emergence and Zoonotic Threat
Viruses 2014, 6(8), 2974-2990; doi:10.3390/v6082974
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 21 July 2014 / Accepted: 22 July 2014 / Published: 4 August 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (404 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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, it 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessReview Potential for Introduction of Bat-Borne Zoonotic Viruses into the EU: A Review
Viruses 2014, 6(5), 2084-2121; doi:10.3390/v6052084
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 10 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (865 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bat-borne viruses can pose a serious threat to human health, with examples including Nipah virus (NiV) in Bangladesh and Malaysia, and Marburg virus (MARV) in Africa. To date, significant human outbreaks of such viruses have not been reported in the European Union (EU).
[...] Read more.
Bat-borne viruses can pose a serious threat to human health, with examples including Nipah virus (NiV) in Bangladesh and Malaysia, and Marburg virus (MARV) in Africa. To date, significant human outbreaks of such viruses have not been reported in the European Union (EU). However, EU countries have strong historical links with many of the countries where NiV and MARV are present and a corresponding high volume of commercial trade and human travel, which poses a potential risk of introduction of these viruses into the EU. In assessing the risks of introduction of these bat-borne zoonotic viruses to the EU, it is important to consider the location and range of bat species known to be susceptible to infection, together with the virus prevalence, seasonality of viral pulses, duration of infection and titre of virus in different bat tissues. In this paper, we review the current scientific knowledge of all these factors, in relation to the introduction of NiV and MARV into the EU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessReview Vampire Bat Rabies: Ecology, Epidemiology and Control
Viruses 2014, 6(5), 1911-1928; doi:10.3390/v6051911
Received: 3 February 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (943 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extensive surveillance in bat populations in response to recent emerging diseases has revealed that this group of mammals acts as a reservoir for a large range of viruses. However, the oldest known association between a zoonotic virus and a bat is that between
[...] Read more.
Extensive surveillance in bat populations in response to recent emerging diseases has revealed that this group of mammals acts as a reservoir for a large range of viruses. However, the oldest known association between a zoonotic virus and a bat is that between rabies virus and the vampire bat. Vampire bats are only found in Latin America and their unique method of obtaining nutrition, blood-feeding or haematophagy, has only evolved in the New World. The adaptations that enable blood-feeding also make the vampire bat highly effective at transmitting rabies virus. Whether the virus was present in pre-Columbian America or was introduced is much disputed, however, the introduction of Old World livestock and associated landscape modification, which continues to the present day, has enabled vampire bat populations to increase. This in turn has provided the conditions for rabies re-emergence to threaten both livestock and human populations as vampire bats target large mammals. This review considers the ecology of the vampire bat that make it such an efficient vector for rabies, the current status of vampire-transmitted rabies and the future prospects for spread by this virus and its control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessReview Filoviruses in Bats: Current Knowledge and Future Directions
Viruses 2014, 6(4), 1759-1788; doi:10.3390/v6041759
Received: 1 February 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
Cited by 66 | PDF Full-text (1421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Filoviruses, including Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus, pose significant threats to public health and species conservation by causing hemorrhagic fever outbreaks with high mortality rates. Since the first outbreak in 1967, their origins, natural history, and ecology remained elusive until recent studies linked them
[...] Read more.
Filoviruses, including Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus, pose significant threats to public health and species conservation by causing hemorrhagic fever outbreaks with high mortality rates. Since the first outbreak in 1967, their origins, natural history, and ecology remained elusive until recent studies linked them through molecular, serological, and virological studies to bats. We review the ecology, epidemiology, and natural history of these systems, drawing on examples from other bat-borne zoonoses, and highlight key areas for future research. We compare and contrast results from ecological and virological studies of bats and filoviruses with those of other systems. We also highlight how advanced methods, such as more recent serological assays, can be interlinked with flexible statistical methods and experimental studies to inform the field studies necessary to understand filovirus persistence in wildlife populations and cross-species transmission leading to outbreaks. We highlight the need for a more unified, global surveillance strategy for filoviruses in wildlife, and advocate for more integrated, multi-disciplinary approaches to understand dynamics in bat populations to ultimately mitigate or prevent potentially devastating disease outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessReview Poxviruses in Bats … so What?
Viruses 2014, 6(4), 1564-1577; doi:10.3390/v6041564
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (789 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Poxviruses are important pathogens of man and numerous domestic and wild animal species. Cross species (including zoonotic) poxvirus infections can have drastic consequences for the recipient host. Bats are a diverse order of mammals known to carry lethal viral zoonoses such as Rabies,
[...] Read more.
Poxviruses are important pathogens of man and numerous domestic and wild animal species. Cross species (including zoonotic) poxvirus infections can have drastic consequences for the recipient host. Bats are a diverse order of mammals known to carry lethal viral zoonoses such as Rabies, Hendra, Nipah, and SARS. Consequent targeted research is revealing bats to be infected with a rich diversity of novel viruses. Poxviruses were recently identified in bats and the settings in which they were found were dramatically different. Here, we review the natural history of poxviruses in bats and highlight the relationship of the viruses to each other and their context in the Poxviridae family. In addition to considering the zoonotic potential of these viruses, we reflect on the broader implications of these findings. Specifically, the potential to explore and exploit this newfound relationship to study coevolution and cross species transmission together with fundamental aspects of poxvirus host tropism as well as bat virology and immunology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessCommentary Immunology of Bats and Their Viruses: Challenges and Opportunities
Viruses 2014, 6(12), 4880-4901; doi:10.3390/v6124880
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bats are reservoir hosts of several high-impact viruses that cause significant human diseases, including Nipah virus, Marburg virus and rabies virus. They also harbor many other viruses that are thought to have caused disease in humans after spillover into intermediate hosts, including SARS
[...] Read more.
Bats are reservoir hosts of several high-impact viruses that cause significant human diseases, including Nipah virus, Marburg virus and rabies virus. They also harbor many other viruses that are thought to have caused disease in humans after spillover into intermediate hosts, including SARS and MERS coronaviruses. As is usual with reservoir hosts, these viruses apparently cause little or no pathology in bats. Despite the importance of bats as reservoir hosts of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic agents, virtually nothing is known about the host/virus relationships; principally because few colonies of bats are available for experimental infections, a lack of reagents, methods and expertise for studying bat antiviral responses and immunology, and the difficulty of conducting meaningful field work. These challenges can be addressed, in part, with new technologies that are species-independent that can provide insight into the interactions of bats and viruses, which should clarify how the viruses persist in nature, and what risk factors might facilitate transmission to humans and livestock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessCommentary Unusual Influenza A Viruses in Bats
Viruses 2014, 6(9), 3438-3449; doi:10.3390/v6093438
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 9 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessShort Communication Molecular Phylogeny of Hantaviruses Harbored by Insectivorous Bats in Côte d’Ivoire and Vietnam
Viruses 2014, 6(5), 1897-1910; doi:10.3390/v6051897
Received: 24 February 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The recent discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews and moles prompted a further exploration of their host diversification by analyzing frozen, ethanol-fixed and RNAlater®-preserved archival tissues and fecal samples from 533 bats (representing seven families, 28 genera
[...] Read more.
The recent discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews and moles prompted a further exploration of their host diversification by analyzing frozen, ethanol-fixed and RNAlater®-preserved archival tissues and fecal samples from 533 bats (representing seven families, 28 genera and 53 species in the order Chiroptera), captured in Asia, Africa and the Americas in 1981–2012, using RT-PCR. Hantavirus RNA was detected in Pomona roundleaf bats (Hipposideros pomona) (family Hipposideridae), captured in Vietnam in 1997 and 1999, and in banana pipistrelles (Neoromicia nanus) (family Vespertilionidae), captured in Côte d’Ivoire in 2011. Phylogenetic analysis, based on the full-length S- and partial M- and L-segment sequences using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, demonstrated that the newfound hantaviruses formed highly divergent lineages, comprising other recently recognized bat-borne hantaviruses in Sierra Leone and China. The detection of bat-associated hantaviruses opens a new era in hantavirology and provides insights into their evolutionary origins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
Open AccessBrief Report Detection of Coronaviruses in Bats of Various Species in Italy
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2679-2689; doi:10.3390/v5112679
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 31 October 2013
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bats are natural reservoirs for many mammalian coronaviruses, which have received renewed interest after the discovery of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) CoV in humans. This study describes the identification and molecular characterization of alphacoronaviruses
[...] Read more.
Bats are natural reservoirs for many mammalian coronaviruses, which have received renewed interest after the discovery of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) CoV in humans. This study describes the identification and molecular characterization of alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses in bats in Italy, 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 Kuhl’s pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii), three clade 2b betacoronaviruses from lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros), and 10 clade 2c betacoronaviruses from Kuhl’s pipistrelle, common noctule (Nyctalus noctula), and Savi’s pipistrelle (Hypsugo savii). This study fills a substantive gap in the knowledge on bat-CoV ecology in Italy, and extends the current knowledge on clade 2c betacoronaviruses with new sequences obtained from bats that have not been previously described as hosts of these viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)

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.



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