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J Gen Virol. 2012 Dec;93(Pt 12):2652-7. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.044149-0. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Novel polyomaviruses in South American bats and their relationship to other members of the family Polyomaviridae.

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Department of Virology, Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Lange Kleiweg 161, 2288GJ Rijswijk, The Netherlands.


Bats are the natural reservoir of a variety of viruses, including a polyomavirus (PyV) from a North American brown bat. We investigated 163 spleen samples from 22 bat species from French Guiana for the presence of PyVs. In total, we detected 25 PyV-positive animals belonging to nine different bat species. Phylogenetic analysis was performed on the genomes of eight representative PyVs, and showed that the bat PyVs form three distinct lineages within the genus Orthopolyomavirus and are genetically different from the previously described North American bat virus. Interestingly, two lineages cluster with PyVs found in chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas. In addition, one group of bat PyVs is genetically related to the human Merkel cell polyomavirus.

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