Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2015 Jun 10;10(6):e0128835. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128835. eCollection 2015.

Natural Hendra Virus Infection in Flying-Foxes - Tissue Tropism and Risk Factors.

Author information

1
Queensland Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Coopers Plains, Queensland, Australia.
2
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, East Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
3
Queensland Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Coopers Plains, Queensland, Australia; EcoHealth Alliance, New York, New York, United States of America.

Abstract

Hendra virus (HeV) is a lethal zoonotic agent that emerged in 1994 in Australia. Pteropid bats (flying-foxes) are the natural reservoir. To date, HeV has spilled over from flying-foxes to horses on 51 known occasions, and from infected horses to close-contact humans on seven occasions. We undertook screening of archived bat tissues for HeV by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Tissues were tested from 310 bats including 295 Pteropodiformes and 15 Vespertilioniformes. HeV was detected in 20 individual flying-foxes (6.4%) from various tissues including spleen, kidney, liver, lung, placenta and blood components. Detection was significantly higher in Pteropus Alecto and P. conspicillatus, identifying species as a risk factor for infection. Further, our findings indicate that HeV has a predilection for the spleen, suggesting this organ plays an important role in HeV infection. The lack of detections in the foetal tissues of HeV-positive females suggests that vertical transmission is not a regular mode of transmission in naturally infected flying-foxes, and that placental and foetal tissues are not a major source of infection for horses. A better understanding of HeV tissue tropism will strengthen management of the risk of spillover from flying-foxes to horses and ultimately humans.

PMID:
26060997
PMCID:
PMC4465494
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0128835
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center