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Open AccessArticle

Wide Diversity of Coronaviruses in Frugivorous and Insectivorous Bat Species: A Pilot Study in Guinea, West Africa

TransVIHMI, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, University of Montpellier, INSERM, 34394 Montpellier, France
Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Infectiologie de Guinée (CERFIG), Université Gamal Abder Nasser de Conakry, Conakry BP6629, Guinea
ASTRE, CIRAD, INRA, University of Montpellier, 34398 Montpellier, France
CIRAD, UMR ASTRE, Harare, Zimbabwe
Laboratoire Central de Diagnostic Vétérinaire, Ministère de l’Elevage et des Productions Animales, Conakry BP3982, Guinea
Institut National de Sante Publique (INSP), Conakry BP6623, Guinea
Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale and Service de Microbiologie, Cliniques Universitaires de Kinshasa, Gombe, Kinshasa P.O. Box 1197, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Département de Bacteriologie-Virologie, CHU de Montpellier, 34295 Montpellier, France
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(8), 855;
Received: 11 June 2020 / Revised: 4 July 2020 / Accepted: 3 August 2020 / Published: 5 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Zoonoses can constitute a threat for public health that can have a global importance, as seen with the current COVID-19 pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Bats have been recognized as an important reservoir of zoonotic coronaviruses (CoVs). In West Africa, where there is a high diversity of bat species, little is known on the circulation of CoVs in these hosts, especially at the interface with human populations. In this study, in Guinea, we tested a total of 319 bats belonging to 14 genera and six families of insectivorous and frugivorous bats across the country, for the presence of coronaviruses. We found CoVs in 35 (11%) of the tested bats—in three insectivorous bat species and five fruit bat species that were mostly captured close to human habitat. Positivity rates varied from 5.7% to 100%, depending on bat species. A wide diversity of alpha and beta coronaviruses was found across the country, including three sequences belonging to SarbeCoVs and MerbeCoVs subgenera known to harbor highly pathogenic human coronaviruses. Our findings suggest that CoVs are widely spread in West Africa and their circulation should be assessed to evaluate the risk of exposure of potential zoonotic CoVs to humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: bat; coronavirus; Guinea; virus diversity; Africa bat; coronavirus; Guinea; virus diversity; Africa
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Lacroix, A.; Vidal, N.; Keita, A.K.; Thaurignac, G.; Esteban, A.; De Nys, H.; Diallo, R.; Toure, A.; Goumou, S.; Soumah, A.K.; Povogui, M.; Koivogui, J.; Monemou, J.-L.; Raulino, R.; Nkuba, A.; Foulongne, V.; Delaporte, E.; Ayouba, A.; Peeters, M. Wide Diversity of Coronaviruses in Frugivorous and Insectivorous Bat Species: A Pilot Study in Guinea, West Africa. Viruses 2020, 12, 855.

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