ABSTRACT: Astroviruses infect humans and many different animal species and are associated with gastroenteritis. Recent studies first detected the virus from bat species in Hong Kong. To understand astrovirus distribution in the wider region further, we examined the prevalence of this virus family in bat specimens collected from a large geographical region of mainland China. We collected 500 anal swabs from 20 bat species in 51 natural habitats from 11 provinces of China and tested these for astroviruses. Our study revealed a remarkably high genetic diversity of astroviruses; five monophyletic groups were identified in bats, including two novel groups. Evidence for varying degrees of host restriction for astroviruses from bats has been found. Phylogenetic analyses also provided insight into the inter-species transmission of Mamastrovirus.
Journal of General Virology 05/2009; 90(Pt 4):883-7. · 3.36 Impact Factor