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Article

Longitudinal Survey of Coronavirus Circulation and Diversity in Insectivorous Bat Colonies in Zimbabwe

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Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zimbabwe, Harare P.O. Box MP 167, Zimbabwe
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ASTRE, CIRAD, INRAE, University of Montpellier, 34980 Montpellier, France
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CIRAD, UMR ASTRE, Harare, Zimbabwe
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MIVEGEC, University of Montpellier, IRD, CNRS, 34394 Montpellier, France
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CIRAD, UMR ASTRE, 34398 Montpellier, France
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TransVIHMI, University of Montpellier, IRD, Inserm, 34394 Montpellier, France
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gilda Tachedjian
Viruses 2022, 14(4), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040781
Received: 16 February 2022 / Revised: 24 March 2022 / Accepted: 3 April 2022 / Published: 9 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Collection Coronaviruses)
Background: Studies have linked bats to outbreaks of viral diseases in human populations such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV and the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Methods: We carried out a longitudinal survey from August 2020 to July 2021 at two sites in Zimbabwe with bat–human interactions: Magweto cave and Chirundu farm. A total of 1732 and 1866 individual bat fecal samples were collected, respectively. Coronaviruses and bat species were amplified using PCR systems. Results: Analysis of the coronavirus sequences revealed a high genetic diversity, and we identified different sub-viral groups in the Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus genus. The established sub-viral groups fell within the described Alphacoronavirus sub-genera: Decacovirus, Duvinacovirus, Rhinacovirus, Setracovirus and Minunacovirus and for Betacoronavirus sub-genera: Sarbecoviruses, Merbecovirus and Hibecovirus. Our results showed an overall proportion for CoV positive PCR tests of 23.7% at Chirundu site and 16.5% and 38.9% at Magweto site for insectivorous bats and Macronycteris gigas, respectively. Conclusions: The higher risk of bat coronavirus exposure for humans was found in December to March in relation to higher viral shedding peaks of coronaviruses in the parturition, lactation and weaning months of the bat populations at both sites. We also highlight the need to further document viral infectious risk in human/domestic animal populations surrounding bat habitats in Zimbabwe. View Full-Text
Keywords: bat coronavirus (Bt CoVs); human–bat interaction; genetic diversity; reproductive phenology; Zimbabwe bat coronavirus (Bt CoVs); human–bat interaction; genetic diversity; reproductive phenology; Zimbabwe
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chidoti, V.; De Nys, H.; Pinarello, V.; Mashura, G.; Missé, D.; Guerrini, L.; Pfukenyi, D.; Cappelle, J.; Chiweshe, N.; Ayouba, A.; Matope, G.; Peeters, M.; Gori, E.; Bourgarel, M.; Liégeois, F. Longitudinal Survey of Coronavirus Circulation and Diversity in Insectivorous Bat Colonies in Zimbabwe. Viruses 2022, 14, 781. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040781

AMA Style

Chidoti V, De Nys H, Pinarello V, Mashura G, Missé D, Guerrini L, Pfukenyi D, Cappelle J, Chiweshe N, Ayouba A, Matope G, Peeters M, Gori E, Bourgarel M, Liégeois F. Longitudinal Survey of Coronavirus Circulation and Diversity in Insectivorous Bat Colonies in Zimbabwe. Viruses. 2022; 14(4):781. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040781

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chidoti, Vimbiso, Hélène De Nys, Valérie Pinarello, Getrude Mashura, Dorothée Missé, Laure Guerrini, Davies Pfukenyi, Julien Cappelle, Ngoni Chiweshe, Ahidjo Ayouba, Gift Matope, Martine Peeters, Elizabeth Gori, Mathieu Bourgarel, and Florian Liégeois. 2022. "Longitudinal Survey of Coronavirus Circulation and Diversity in Insectivorous Bat Colonies in Zimbabwe" Viruses 14, no. 4: 781. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14040781

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