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Bat coronaviruses and experimental infection of bats, the Philippines

Shumpei Watanabe, Joseph S Masangkay, Noriyo Nagata, Shigeru Morikawa, Tetsuya Mizutani, Shuetsu Fukushi, Phillip Alviola, Tsutomu Omatsu, Naoya Ueda, Koichiro Iha, Satoshi Taniguchi, Hikaru Fujii, Shumpei Tsuda, Maiko Endoh, Kentaro Kato, Yukinobu Tohya, Shigeru Kyuwa, Yasuhiro Yoshikawa, Hiroomi Akashi
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2010, 16 (8): 1217-23
20678314
Fifty-two bats captured during July 2008 in the Philippines were tested by reverse transcription-PCR to detect bat coronavirus (CoV) RNA. The overall prevalence of virus RNA was 55.8%. We found 2 groups of sequences that belonged to group 1 (genus Alphacoronavirus) and group 2 (genus Betacoronavirus) CoVs. Phylogenetic analysis of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene showed that groups 1 and 2 CoVs were similar to Bat-CoV/China/A515/2005 (95% nt sequence identity) and Bat-CoV/HKU9-1/China/2007 (83% identity), respectively. To propagate group 2 CoVs obtained from a lesser dog-faced fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), we administered intestine samples orally to Leschenault rousette bats (Rousettus leschenaulti) maintained in our laboratory. After virus replication in the bats was confirmed, an additional passage of the virus was made in Leschenault rousette bats, and bat pathogenesis was investigated. Fruit bats infected with virus did not show clinical signs of infection.

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