Novel alphacoronaviruses and paramyxoviruses cocirculate with type 1 and severe acute respiratory system (SARS)-related betacoronaviruses in synanthropic bats of luxembourg

Maude Pauly*, Jacques B. Pir, Catherine Loesch, Aurélie Sausy, Chantal J. Snoeck, Judith M. Hübschen, Claude P. Muller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Several infectious disease outbreaks with high mortality in humans have been attributed to viruses that are thought to have evolved from bat viruses. In this study from Luxembourg, the genetic diversity and epidemiology of paramyxoviruses and coronaviruses shed by the bat species Rhinolophus ferrumequinum and Myotis emarginatus were evaluated. Feces collection (n = 624) was performed longitudinally in a mixed-species colony in 2015 and 2016. In addition, feces (n = 254) were collected cross-sectionally from six Myotis emarginatus colonies in 2016. By use of degenerate primers in a nested format, overall prevalences of 1.1% (10/878) and 4.9% (43/878) were determined for paramyxoviruses and coronaviruses. Sequences of the partial RNAdependent RNA polymerase and spike glycoprotein genes of coronaviruses, as well as sequences of the partial L gene of paramyxoviruses, were obtained. Novel paramyxovirus and Alphacoronavirus strains were identified in different Myotis emarginatus colonies, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related Betacoronavirus strains were shed by Rhinolophus ferrumequinum. Logistic regression revealed that the level of Alphacoronavirus shedding was highest in July (odds ratio, 2.8; P < 0.01), probably due to periparturient stress. Phylogenetic analyses point to close virus-host coevolution, and the high genetic similarity of the study strains suggests that the Myotis emarginatus colonies in Luxembourg are socially connected. Most interestingly, we show that bats also host Betacoronavirus 1 strains. The high similarity of the spike gene sequences of these viruses with mammalian Betacoronavirus 1 strains may be of concern. Both the SARS-related and Betacoronavirus 1 strains detected in bats in Luxembourg may cross the species barrier after a host adaptation process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01326
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume83
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Chiroptera
  • Coronavirus
  • Luxembourg
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Paramyxovirus
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Surveillance studies
  • Virology
  • Zoonotic infections

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