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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332821

ABSTRACT

Background: Studies have linked bats to outbreaks in human populations such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV and the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Method: 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 1732 and 1866 individual bat faecal samples were collected respectively. Coronaviruses and bat species were amplified using PCR systems respectively. 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, 16.5% and 38.9% at Magweto site for small insectivorous bats and Macronycteris gigas respectively. Conclusion: The higher risk of bat coronaviruses exposure for humans ranged from 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.

2.
Preprints.org ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1786432

ABSTRACT

Background: Studies have linked bats to outbreaks in human populations such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV and the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Method: 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 1732 and 1866 individual bat faecal samples were collected respectively. Coronaviruses and bat species were amplified using PCR systems respectively. 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, 16.5% and 38.9% at Magweto site for small insectivorous bats and Macronycteris gigas respectively. Conclusion: The higher risk of bat coronaviruses exposure for humans ranged from 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.

3.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066819

ABSTRACT

Bats host many viruses pathogenic to humans, and increasing evidence suggests that rotavirus A (RVA) also belongs to this list. Rotaviruses cause diarrheal disease in many mammals and birds, and their segmented genomes allow them to reassort and increase their genetic diversity. Eighteen out of 2,142 bat fecal samples (0.8%) collected from Europe, Central America, and Africa were PCR-positive for RVA, and 11 of those were fully characterized using viral metagenomics. Upon contrasting their genomes with publicly available data, at least 7 distinct bat RVA genotype constellations (GCs) were identified, which included evidence of reassortments and 6 novel genotypes. Some of these constellations are spread across the world, whereas others appear to be geographically restricted. Our analyses also suggest that several unusual human and equine RVA strains might be of bat RVA origin, based on their phylogenetic clustering, despite various levels of nucleotide sequence identities between them. Although SA11 is one of the most widely used reference strains for RVA research and forms the backbone of a reverse genetics system, its origin remained enigmatic. Remarkably, the majority of the genotypes of SA11-like strains were shared with Gabonese bat RVAs, suggesting a potential common origin. Overall, our findings suggest an underexplored genetic diversity of RVAs in bats, which is likely only the tip of the iceberg. Increasing contact between humans and bat wildlife will further increase the zoonosis risk, which warrants closer attention to these viruses.IMPORTANCE The increased research on bat coronaviruses after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) allowed the very rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2. This is an excellent example of the importance of knowing viruses harbored by wildlife in general, and bats in particular, for global preparedness against emerging viral pathogens. The current effort to characterize bat rotavirus strains from 3 continents sheds light on the vast genetic diversity of rotaviruses and also hints at a bat origin for several atypical rotaviruses in humans and animals, implying that zoonoses of bat rotaviruses might occur more frequently than currently realized.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Rotavirus Infections/transmission , Rotavirus Infections/virology , Rotavirus/genetics , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Diarrhea/virology , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Horses , Humans , Metagenomics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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