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PLoS One. 2009 Jul 28;4(7):e6367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006367.

Henipavirus RNA in African bats.

Author information

1
Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Henipaviruses (Hendra and Nipah virus) are highly pathogenic members of the family Paramyxoviridae. Fruit-eating bats of the Pteropus genus have been suggested as their natural reservoir. Human Henipavirus infections have been reported in a region extending from Australia via Malaysia into Bangladesh, compatible with the geographic range of Pteropus. These bats do not occur in continental Africa, but a whole range of other fruit bats is encountered. One of the most abundant is Eidolon helvum, the African Straw-coloured fruit bat.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Feces from E. helvum roosting in an urban setting in Kumasi/Ghana were tested for Henipavirus RNA. Sequences of three novel viruses in phylogenetic relationship to known Henipaviruses were detected. Virus RNA concentrations in feces were low.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The finding of novel putative Henipaviruses outside Australia and Asia contributes a significant extension of the region of potential endemicity of one of the most pathogenic virus genera known in humans.

PMID:
19636378
PMCID:
PMC2712088
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0006367
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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