Detection of new genetic variants of Betacoronaviruses in Endemic Frugivorous Bats of Madagascar

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  • N.H. Razanajatovo
  • L.A. Nomenjanahary
  • D.A. Wilkinson
  • J.H. Razafimanahaka
  • S.M. Goodman
  • R.K. Jenkins
  • Julia P.G. Jones
  • J. Heraud
Bats are amongst the natural reservoirs of many coronaviruses (CoVs) of which some can lead to severe infection in human. African bats are known to harbor a range of pathogens (e.g., Ebola and Marburg viruses) that can infect humans and cause disease outbreaks. A recent study in South Africa isolated a genetic variant closely related to MERS-CoV from an insectivorous bat. Though Madagascar is home to 44 bat species (41 insectivorous and 3 frugivorous) of which 34 are endemic, no data exists concerning the circulation of CoVs in the island’s chiropteran fauna. Certain Malagasy bats can be frequently found in close contact with humans and frugivorous bats feed in the same trees where people collect and consume fruits and are hunted and consumed as bush meat. The purpose of our study is to detect and identify CoVs from frugivorous bats in Madagascar to evaluate the risk of human infection from infected bats.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVirology Journal
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2015

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