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Virus Genes. 2012 Feb;44(1):40-4. doi: 10.1007/s11262-011-0661-1. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Detection of bat coronaviruses from Miniopterus fuliginosus in Japan.

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Department of Virology 3, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan.


Bats have great potential as reservoirs for emerging viruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus. In this study, bat coronaviruses (BtCoVs) were detected by RT-PCR from intestinal and fecal specimens of Miniopterus fuliginosus breeding colonies in Wakayama Prefecture caves, where we previously identified bat betaherpesvirus 2. Two primer sets were used for the detection of BtCoV: one was for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) region and the other was for the spike (S) protein region. Eleven and 73% of intestinal and fecal specimens, respectively, were positive for RdRp region, and 2 and 40% of those were positive for S protein region. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis showed that the detected BtCoV belonged to the group 1 (alpha) coronaviruses. These data suggest that BtCoV is endemic in M. fuliginosus in Japan.

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