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PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e29140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029140. Epub 2011 Dec 27.

Two novel parvoviruses in frugivorous New and Old World bats.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Center for Infection and Immunity (CINIMA), Academic Medical Centre (AMC), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Bats, a globally distributed group of mammals with high ecological importance, are increasingly recognized as natural reservoir hosts for viral agents of significance to human and animal health. In the present study, we evaluated pools of blood samples obtained from two phylogenetically distant bat families, in particular from flying foxes (Pteropodidae), Eidolon helvum in West Africa, and from two species of New World leaf-nosed fruit bats (Phyllostomidae), Artibeus jamaicensis and Artibeus lituratus in Central America. A sequence-independent virus discovery technique (VIDISCA) was used in combination with high throughput sequencing to detect two novel parvoviruses: a PARV4-like virus named Eh-BtPV-1 in Eidolon helvum from Ghana and the first member of a putative new genus in Artibeus jamaicensis from Panama (Aj-BtPV-1). Those viruses were circulating in the corresponding bat colony at rates of 7-8%. Aj-BtPV-1 was also found in Artibeus lituratus (5.5%). Both viruses were detected in the blood of infected animals at high concentrations: up to 10E8 and to 10E10 copies/ml for Aj-BtPV-1 and Eh-BtPV-1 respectively. Eh-BtPV-1 was additionally detected in all organs collected from bats (brain, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys and intestine) and spleen and kidneys were identified as the most likely sites where viral replication takes place. Our study shows that bat parvoviruses share common ancestors with known parvoviruses of humans and livestock. We also provide evidence that a variety of Parvovirinae are able to cause active infection in bats and that they are widely distributed in these animals with different geographic origin, ecologies and climatic ranges.

© 2011 Canuti et al.

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