Bat guano virome: predominance of dietary viruses from insects and plants plus novel mammalian viruses.
ABSTRACT Bats are hosts to a variety of viruses capable of zoonotic transmissions. Because of increased contact between bats, humans, and other animal species, the possibility exists for further cross-species transmissions and ensuing disease outbreaks. We describe here full and partial viral genomes identified using metagenomics in the guano of bats from California and Texas. A total of 34% and 58% of 390,000 sequence reads from bat guano in California and Texas, respectively, were related to eukaryotic viruses, and the largest proportion of those infect insects, reflecting the diet of these insectivorous bats, including members of the viral families Dicistroviridae, Iflaviridae, Tetraviridae, and Nodaviridae and the subfamily Densovirinae. The second largest proportion of virus-related sequences infects plants and fungi, likely reflecting the diet of ingested insects, including members of the viral families Luteoviridae, Secoviridae, Tymoviridae, and Partitiviridae and the genus Sobemovirus. Bat guano viruses related to those infecting mammals comprised the third largest group, including members of the viral families Parvoviridae, Circoviridae, Picornaviridae, Adenoviridae, Poxviridae, Astroviridae, and Coronaviridae. No close relative of known human viral pathogens was identified in these bat populations. Phylogenetic analysis was used to clarify the relationship to known viral taxa of novel sequences detected in bat guano samples, showing that some guano viral sequences fall outside existing taxonomic groups. This initial characterization of the bat guano virome, the first metagenomic analysis of viruses in wild mammals using second-generation sequencing, therefore showed the presence of previously unidentified viral species, genera, and possibly families. Viral metagenomics is a useful tool for genetically characterizing viruses present in animals with the known capability of direct or indirect viral zoonosis to humans.
Dataset: from orphan virus to pathogen
Article: Measures of the constitutive immune system are linked to diet and roosting habits of Neotropical bats[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ecological and social factors are central in the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases, thus bearing the potential for shaping a species’ immune functions. Although previous studies demonstrated a link between social factors and the cellular immune system for captive mammals, it is yet poorly understood how ecological factors are connected with the different branches of the immune system in wild populations. Here, we tested how variation in aspects of the constitutive cellular and humoral immune system of free ranging bats is associated with two ecological factors that likely influence the putative risk of species to become infected by parasites and pathogens: diet and shelter. We found that white blood cell counts of 24 syntopic Neotropical bat species varied with the species’ diet and body mass. Bats that included at least partially vertebrates in their diet exhibited the highest white blood cell counts, followed by phytophagous and insectivorous species, which is in agreement with the assumption that the immune system varies with the pathogen transmission risk of a trophic level. The soluble part of the constitutive immune response, assessed by an in vitro bacterial killing assay, decreased with increasing roost permanence. Our results suggest that the ecology is an important factor in the evolution of the immune system in bats and probably also other mammals.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54023. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Identification of Starling Circovirus in an Estuarine Mollusc (Amphibola crenata) in New Zealand Using Metagenomic Approaches.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Two complete genomes of starling circovirus (StCV) were recovered from Amphibola crenata, an estuarine New Zealand mollusc. This is the first report of StCV outside Europe. The viral genomes were recovered from rolling circle-amplified enriched circular DNA followed by back-to-back primers and specific primer PCR amplification.Genome announcements. 01/2013; 1(3).