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Evidence for Retrovirus and Paramyxovirus Infection of Multiple Bat Species in China

Guangdong Entomological Institute, South China Institute of Endangered Animals, Guangzhou 510260, China
Metabiota, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY 10001, USA
Wuhan Institute of Virology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430071, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2014, 6(5), 2138-2154;
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 27 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: bat; metagenomics; hipposideridae; pathogens; viral emergence; virome; zoonoses bat; metagenomics; hipposideridae; pathogens; viral emergence; virome; zoonoses
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Yuan, L.; Li, M.; Li, L.; Monagin, C.; Chmura, A.A.; Schneider, B.S.; Epstein, J.H.; Mei, X.; Shi, Z.; Daszak, P.; Chen, J. Evidence for Retrovirus and Paramyxovirus Infection of Multiple Bat Species in China. Viruses 2014, 6, 2138-2154.

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