Circulation of Alphacoronavirus, Betacoronavirus and Paramyxovirus in Hipposideros bat species in Zimbabwe


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Publication Date

January 2018


Bats carry a great diversity of zoonotic viruses with a high-impact on human health and livestock. Since the emergence of new coronaviruses and paramyxoviruses in humans (e.g. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Nipah virus), numerous studies clearly established that bats can maintain some of these viruses. Improving our understanding on the role of bats in the epidemiology of the pathogens they harbour is necessary to prevent cross-species spill over along the wild/domestic/human gradient. In this study, we screened bat faecal samples for the presence of Coronavirus and Paramyxovirus in two caves frequently visited by local people to collect manure and/or to hunt bats in Zimbabwe. We amplified partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase genes of Alpha and Betacoronavirus together with the partial polymerase gene of Paramyxovirus. Identified coronaviruses were related to pathogenic human strains and the paramyxovirus belonged to the recently described Jeilongvirus genus. Our results highlighted the importance of monitoring virus circulation in wildlife, especially bats, in the context of intense human-wildlife interfaces in order to strengthen prevention measures among local populations and to implement sentinel surveillance in sites with high zoonotic diseases transmission potential.


Bat, Coronavirus, Paramyxovirus, Phylogeny, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Zimbabwe

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Infection, Genetics and Evolution, Vol. 58 (2018-01).