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Seasonal Fluctuations of Astrovirus, But Not Coronavirus Shedding in Bats Inhabiting Human-Modified Tropical Forests

Seltmann, Anne, Corman, Victor M., Rasche, Andrea, Drosten, Christian, Czirják, Gábor Á., Bernard, Henry, Struebig, Matthew J., Voigt, Christian C. (2017) Seasonal Fluctuations of Astrovirus, But Not Coronavirus Shedding in Bats Inhabiting Human-Modified Tropical Forests. EcoHealth, 14 (2). pp. 272-284. ISSN 1612-9202. E-ISSN 1612-9210. (doi:10.1007/s10393-017-1245-x) (KAR id:61741)


Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are considered a major threat to global health. Most EIDs appear to result from increased contact between wildlife and humans, especially when humans encroach into formerly pristine habitats. Habitat deterioration may also negatively affect the physiology and health of wildlife species, which may eventually lead to a higher susceptibility to infectious agents and/or increased shedding of the pathogens causing EIDs. Bats are known to host viruses closely related to important EIDs. Here, we tested in a paleotropical forest with ongoing logging and fragmentation, whether habitat disturbance influences the occurrence of astro- and coronaviruses in eight bat species. In contrast to our hypothesis, anthropogenic habitat disturbance was not associated with corona- and astrovirus detection rates in fecal samples. However, we found that bats infected with either astro- or coronaviruses were likely to be coinfected with the respective other virus. Additionally, we identified two more risk factors influencing astrovirus shedding. First, the detection rate of astroviruses was higher at the beginning of the rainy compared to the dry season. Second, there was a trend that individuals with a poor body condition had a higher probability of shedding astroviruses in their feces. The identification of risk factors for increased viral shedding that may potentially result in increased interspecies transmission is important to prevent viral spillovers from bats to other animals, including humans.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10393-017-1245-x
Uncontrolled keywords: Bats, Coronaviruses, Astroviruses, Coinfection, Human-modified landscapes, Habitat fragmentation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Matthew Struebig
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 08:40 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 02:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Struebig, Matthew J..

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