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1.
Nature ; 604(7905): 330-336, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692583

ABSTRACT

The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 is unknown despite reports of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses in Asian Rhinolophus bats1-4, including the closest virus from R. affinis, RaTG13 (refs. 5,6), and pangolins7-9. SARS-CoV-2 has a mosaic genome, to which different progenitors contribute. The spike sequence determines the binding affinity and accessibility of its receptor-binding domain to the cellular angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and is responsible for host range10-12. SARS-CoV-2 progenitor bat viruses genetically close to SARS-CoV-2 and able to enter human cells through a human ACE2 (hACE2) pathway have not yet been identified, although they would be key in understanding the origin of the epidemic. Here we show that such viruses circulate in cave bats living in the limestone karstic terrain in northern Laos, in the Indochinese peninsula. We found that the receptor-binding domains of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues at the interface with ACE2, bind more efficiently to the hACE2 protein than that of the SARS-CoV-2 strain isolated in Wuhan from early human cases, and mediate hACE2-dependent entry and replication in human cells, which is inhibited by antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2. None of these bat viruses contains a furin cleavage site in the spike protein. Our findings therefore indicate that bat-borne SARS-CoV-2-like viruses that are potentially infectious for humans circulate in Rhinolophus spp. in the Indochinese peninsula.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Asia , Caves , Chiroptera/virology , Disease Reservoirs , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
2.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674829

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoV) are divided into the genera α-CoVs, ß-CoVs, γ-CoVs and δ-CoVs. Of these, α-CoVs and ß-CoVs are solely capable of causing infections in humans, resulting in mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Bats have been identified as natural reservoir hosts for CoVs belonging to these two genera. Consequently, research on bat populations, CoV prevalence in bats and genetic characterization of bat CoVs is of special interest to investigate the potential transmission risks. We present the genome sequence of a novel α-CoV strain detected in rectal swab samples of Miniopterus fuliginosus bats from a colony in the Wavul Galge cave (Koslanda, Sri Lanka). The novel strain is highly similar to Miniopterus bat coronavirus 1, an α-CoV located in the subgenus of Minunacoviruses. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed a high identity of the novel strain to other α-CoVs derived from Miniopterus bats, while human-pathogenic α-CoV strains like HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 were more distantly related. Comparison with selected bat-related and human-pathogenic strains of the ß-CoV genus showed low identities of ~40%. Analyses of the different genes on nucleotide and amino acid level revealed that the non-structural ORF1a/1b are more conserved among α-CoVs and ß-CoVs, while there are higher variations in the structural proteins known to be important for host specificity. The novel strain was named batCoV/MinFul/2018/SriLanka and had a prevalence of 50% (66/130) in rectal swab samples and 58% (61/104) in feces samples that were collected from Miniopterus bats in Wavul Galge cave. Based on the differences between strain batCoV/MinFul/2018/SriLanka and human-pathogenic α-CoVs and ß-CoVs, we conclude that there is a rather low transmission risk to humans. Further studies in the Wavul Galge cave and at other locations in Sri Lanka will give more detailed information about the prevalence of this virus.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Genome, Viral , Alphacoronavirus/classification , Animals , Caves/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Male , Phylogeny , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Sri Lanka
3.
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0244006, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1074162

ABSTRACT

In this study, we examined the role of the eastern bent-winged bat (Miniopterus fuliginosus) in the dispersion of bat adenovirus and bat alphacoronavirus in east Asia, considering their gene flows and divergence times (based on deep-sequencing data), using bat fecal guano samples. Bats in China moved to Jeju Island and/or Taiwan in the last 20,000 years via the Korean Peninsula and/or Japan. The phylogenies of host mitochondrial D-loop DNA was not significantly congruent with those of bat adenovirus (m2XY = 0.07, p = 0.08), and bat alphacoronavirus (m2XY = 0.48, p = 0.20). We estimate that the first divergence time of bats carrying bat adenovirus in five caves studied (designated as K1, K2, JJ, N2, and F3) occurred approximately 3.17 million years ago. In contrast, the first divergence time of bat adenovirus among bats in the 5 caves was estimated to be approximately 224.32 years ago. The first divergence time of bats in caves CH, JJ, WY, N2, F1, F2, and F3 harboring bat alphacoronavirus was estimated to be 1.59 million years ago. The first divergence time of bat alphacoronavirus among the 7 caves was estimated to be approximately 2,596.92 years ago. The origin of bat adenovirus remains unclear, whereas our findings suggest that bat alphacoronavirus originated in Japan. Surprisingly, bat adenovirus and bat alphacoronavirus appeared to diverge substantially over the last 100 years, even though our gene-flow data indicate that the eastern bent-winged bat serves as an important natural reservoir of both viruses.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Chiroptera/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/classification , Alphacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Animals , Caves , Chiroptera/classification , Chiroptera/virology , DNA, Mitochondrial/chemistry , DNA, Mitochondrial/metabolism , DNA, Viral/chemistry , DNA, Viral/metabolism , Far East , Feces/virology , Gene Flow , Genetic Variation , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Monte Carlo Method , Phylogeny
5.
Virus Genes ; 56(1): 99-103, 2020 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-827576

ABSTRACT

Bats are carriers of potentially zoonotic viruses, therefore it is crucial to identify viruses currently found in bats to better understand how they are maintained in bat populations and evaluate risks for transmission to other species. Adenoviruses have been previously detected in bats throughout the world, but sampling is still limited. In this study, 30 pooled-guano samples were collected from a cave roost of Myotis velifer in Oklahoma. A portion of the DNA polymerase gene from Adenoviridae was amplified successfully in 18 M. velifer samples; however, DNA sequence was obtained from only 6 of these M. velifer samples. One was collected in October 2016, one in March 2017, and 4 in July 2017. The October and March samples contained viral DNA that was 3.1% different from each other but 33% different than the novel viral sequence found in the July 2017 samples. Phylogenetic analysis of these fragments confirmed our isolates were from the genus Mastadenovirus and had genetic diversity ranging from 20 to 50% when compared to other bat adenoviruses.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/isolation & purification , Chiroptera/virology , Adenoviridae/classification , Adenoviridae/genetics , Animals , Caves , Genetic Variation , Oklahoma , Phylogeny
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