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Detection of Coronaviruses in Bats of Various Species in Italy

1
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell'Emilia Romagna, Via Bianchi 9, Brescia 25124, Italy
2
IZO s.r.l, Via S. Zeno 99/A, Brescia 25124, Italy
3
Centro Fauna Selvatica "Il Pettirosso", Via Nonantolana 1217, Modena 41122, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Viruses 2013, 5(11), 2679-2689; https://doi.org/10.3390/v5112679
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 31 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; bats; Italy; molecular characterization; phylogenetic analysis coronavirus; bats; Italy; molecular characterization; phylogenetic analysis
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Lelli, D.; Papetti, A.; Sabelli, C.; Rosti, E.; Moreno, A.; Boniotti, M.B. Detection of Coronaviruses in Bats of Various Species in Italy. Viruses 2013, 5, 2679-2689.

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