First Report of Coronaviruses in Northern European Bats

Ilkka Kivistö, Eeva-Maria Tidenberg, Thomas Lilley, Kati Suominen, Kristian M Forbes, Olli Vapalahti, Anita Huovilainen, Tarja Sironen
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 2019 September 10
Coronaviruses (CoVs) represent a global public health threat, exemplified by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. Using fecal samples collected from five bat species between 2014 and 2016 in Finland and RT-PCR, RT-qPCR, and NGS, we identified CoVs in 10 of 79 (13%) samples, including two novel bat species-CoV relationships. Phylogenetic analysis revealed Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus species clustered among previously identified bat and human viruses. These results expand the known northern distribution and host species range of bat-borne CoVs.


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