Astroviruses belong to Astroviridae
family which includes two main genera: Mamastroviruses that infect mammals, and Avastroviruses that infect avian hosts. Bats and wild birds are considered among the natural reservoirs for astroviruses. Infections in humans are associated with severe gastroenteritis, especially among children. We conducted surveillance for astroviruses in bats, wild birds, and humans in Egypt. Our results indicated relatively high prevalence of astroviruses in those hosts. Phylogenetic analysis revealed diversity of these viruses within hosts. Detected human viruses showed similarity with classic and variant human astroviruses, as well as similarity with animal-origin viruses. Viruses in bats were dispersed, with similarities to other bat viruses as well as other mammalian, including human, viruses. Wild bird viruses varied and were related to other avastroviruses, as well as human astroviruses. Our results indicate that astroviruses are common in bats, wild birds, and humans in Egypt, with a wide gene pool. Potential cross-species transmission may be occurring but should be verified by further surveillance and molecular studies.
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