All members of the lyssavirus genus cause the disease rabies. European bat lyssavirus 1 (EBLV-1) viruses are divided genetically into three groups according to geographic location and host reservoir. We report here the first genome sequence for an EBLV-1 isolated from Eptesiscus isabellinus in the Iberian Peninsula, Spain.
Papillomaviruses (PVs) are widespread pathogens. However, the extent of PV infections in bats remains largely unknown. This work represents the first comprehensive study of PVs in Iberian bats. We identified four novel PVs in the mucosa of free-ranging Eptesicus serotinus (EserPV1, EserPV2, and EserPV3) and Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (RferPV1) individuals and analyzed their phylogenetic relationships within the viral family. We further assessed their prevalence in different populations of E. serotinus and its close relative E. isabellinus. Although it is frequent to read that PVs co-evolve with their host, that PVs are highly species-specific, and that PVs do not usually recombine, our results suggest otherwise. First, strict virus–host co-evolution is rejected by the existence of five, distantly related bat PV lineages and by the lack of congruence between bats and bat PVs phylogenies. Second, the ability of EserPV2 and EserPV3 to infect two different bat species (E. serotinus and E. isabellinus) argues against strict host specificity. Finally, the description of a second noncoding region in the RferPV1 genome reinforces the view of an increased susceptibility to recombination in the E2-L2 genomic region. These findings prompt the question of whether the prevailing paradigms regarding PVs evolution should be reconsidered.
bats; papillomavirus; evolution; phylogeny; biodiversity; wildlife
A new tentative lyssavirus, Lleida bat lyssavirus, was found in a bent-winged bat (Miniopterus schreibersii) in Spain. It does not belong to phylogroups I or II, and it seems to be more closely related to the West Causasian bat virus, and especially to the Ikoma lyssavirus.
Lyssavirus; Lleida bat lyssavirus; bent-winged bat; rabies; viruses; Spain
Filoviruses, amongst the most lethal of primate pathogens, have only been reported as natural infections in sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines. Infections of bats with the ebolaviruses and marburgviruses do not appear to be associated with disease. Here we report identification in dead insectivorous bats of a genetically distinct filovirus, provisionally named Lloviu virus, after the site of detection, Cueva del Lloviu, in Spain.
A novel filovirus, provisionally named Lloviu virus (LLOV), was detected during the investigation of Miniopterus schreibersii die-offs in Cueva del Lloviu in southern Europe. LLOV is genetically distinct from other marburgviruses and ebolaviruses and is the first filovirus detected in Europe that was not imported from an endemic area in Africa. Filoviruses, amongst the most lethal of primate pathogens, have only been reported as natural infections in sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines. Infections of bats with the ebolaviruses and marburgviruses do not appear to be associated with disease. Here we report identification of genetically distinct filovirus in dead insectivorous bats in caves in Spain.
Bat coronaviruses (CoV) are putative precursors of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) CoV and other CoV that crossed the species barrier from zoonotic reservoirs into the human population. To determine the presence and distribution of CoV in Iberian bats, 576 individuals of 26 different bat species were captured in 13 locations in Spain. We report for the first time the presence of 14 coronaviruses in 9 Iberian bat species. Phylogenetic analysis of a conserved CoV genome region (RdRp gene) shows a wide diversity and distribution of alpha and betacoronavirus in Spain. Interestingly, although some of these viruses are related to other European BatCoV, or to Asian CoV, some of the viruses found in Spain cluster in new groups of α and β CoV.
To better understand the epidemiology of European bat lyssavirus 1 (EBLV-1) in Europe, we phylogenetically characterized Lyssavirus from Eptesicus isabellinus bats in Spain. An independent cluster of EBLV-1 possibly resulted from geographic isolation and association with a different reservoir from other European strains. EBLV-1 phylogeny is complex and probably associated with host evolutionary history.
Lyssavirus; bats; phylogeny; rabies; EBLV-1; Eptesicus isabellinus; viruses; Spain; dispatch
Understanding the role of humans in the dispersal of predominately animal pathogens is essential for their control. We used newly developed Bayesian phylogeographic methods to unravel the dynamics and determinants of the spread of dog rabies virus (RABV) in North Africa. Each of the countries studied exhibited largely disconnected spatial dynamics with major geo-political boundaries acting as barriers to gene flow. Road distances proved to be better predictors of the movement of dog RABV than accessibility or raw geographical distance, with occasional long distance and rapid spread within each of these countries. Using simulations that bridge phylodynamics and spatial epidemiology, we demonstrate that the contemporary viral distribution extends beyond that expected for RABV transmission in African dog populations. These results are strongly supportive of human-mediated dispersal, and demonstrate how an integrated phylogeographic approach will turn viral genetic data into a powerful asset for characterizing, predicting, and potentially controlling the spatial spread of pathogens.
At least 15 million doses of anti-rabies post-exposure prophylaxis are administered annually worldwide, and an estimated 55,000 people die of rabies every year. Over 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries, predominantly in Asia and in Africa where rabies is endemic in domestic dogs. Despite the global health burden due to rabies, little is known about the patterns of the spread of dog rabies in these endemic regions. We used recently developed Bayesian analytical methods to unravel the dynamics and determinants of the spatial diffusion of dog rabies viruses in North Africa based on viral genetic data. Our analysis reveals a combination of restricted spread across administrative borders, the occasional long-distance movement of rabies viruses, and a strong fit between spatial spread of the virus and road distances between localities. Together, these data indicate that by transporting dogs, humans have played a key role in the dispersal of a major animal pathogen. Our studies therefore provide essential new information on the transmission dynamics of rabies in Africa, and in doing so will greatly assist in future intervention strategies.
To determine the presence of European bat lyssavirus type 1 in southern Spain, we studied 19 colonies of serotine bats (Eptesicus isabellinus), its main reservoir, during 1998–2003. Viral genome and antibodies were detected in healthy bats, which suggests subclinical infection. The different temporal patterns of circulation found in each colony indicate independent endemic circulation.
lyssavirus; bats; surveillance; rabies; dispatch
A measles outbreak occurred from January to July 2003 in Spain, despite the fact that the Plan of Eradication of Measles and its surveillance program had been set up in 2001. Different diagnostic markers for measles virus infection were compared for 246 patients in tests of serum, urine, and pharyngeal exudate specimens. Measles virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG and rubella virus and parvovirus IgM levels in serum were assayed. Multiplex PCR was done on urine, serum, and pharyngeal exudates, and isolation of measles virus in the B95a cell line from urine was attempted. At least one positive marker for measles virus was obtained from 165 patients (67.1%; total number of patients, 246). A total of 136 cases (82.4% of the patients showing positive markers) were diagnosed by PCR and/or isolation and IgM detection methods. The results for 27 patients (16.4%) were positive only by direct methods. The results for two patients (1.2%) were positive only by IgM detection. In the case of the first group (136 cases), the time elapsed from appearance of the rash was significantly longer than in the case of the group which was only positive by PCR. Besides, 8 out of 27 PCR-positive IgM-negative cases showed specific IgG results, suggesting either secondary vaccine failure or reinfection. Numbers resulting from PCR performed with pharyngeal exudates proved to be significantly higher than those obtained with other specimens. Phylogenetic analysis showed the presence of genotype B3. The results strongly back the World Health Organization recommendation that detection of IgM should be supplemented by PCR and isolation for the diagnosis of measles virus infection.
We describe here a multiplex reverse transcription-PCR (RTMNPCR) assay designed to detect and differentiate measles virus, rubella virus, and parvovirus B19. Serial dilution experiments with vaccine strains that compared cell culture isolation of measles in B95 cells and rubella in RK13 cells showed sensitivity rates of 0.004 50% tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) for measles virus and 0.04 TCID50 for rubella virus. This RTMNPCR can detect as few as 10 molecules for measles virus and rubella virus and one molecule for parvovirus B19 in dilution experiments with plasmids containing inserts of the primary reaction amplification products. Five pharyngeal exudates from measles patients and 2 of 15 cerebrospinal fluid samples from measles-related encephalitis were found to be positive for measles virus by this RTMNPCR. A total of 3 of 27 pharyngeal exudates from vaccinated children and 2 pharyngeal exudates, plus one urine sample from a case of congenital rubella syndrome, were found to be positive for rubella virus by RTMNPCR, whereas 16 of 19 sera from patients with erythema infectiosum were determined to be positive for parvovirus B19 by RTMNPCR. In view of these results, we can assess that this method is a useful tool in the diagnosis of these three viruses and could be used as an effective surveillance tool in measles eradication programs.
Brain analysis cannot be used for the investigation of active lyssavirus infection in healthy bats because most bat species are protected by conservation directives. Consequently, serology remains the only tool for performing virological studies on natural bat populations; however, the presence of antibodies merely reflects past exposure to the virus and is not a valid marker of active infection. This work describes a new nested reverse transcription (RT)-PCR technique specifically designed for the detection of the European bat virus 1 on oropharyngeal swabs obtained from bats but also able to amplify RNA from the remaining rabies-related lyssaviruses in brain samples. The technique was successfully used for surveillance of a serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) colony involved in a case of human exposure, in which 15 out of 71 oropharyngeal swabs were positive. Lyssavirus infection was detected on 13 oropharyngeal swabs but in only 5 brains out of the 34 animals from which simultaneous brain and oropharyngeal samples had been taken. The lyssavirus involved could be rapidly identified by automatic sequencing of the RT-PCR products obtained from 14 brains and three bat oropharyngeal swabs. In conclusion, RT-PCR using oropharyngeal swabs will permit screening of wild bat populations for active lyssavirus infection, for research or epidemiological purposes, in line not only with conservation policies but also in a more efficient manner than classical detection techniques used on the brain.
Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays have been widely described for use in the diagnosis of human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) and other respiratory virus pathogens. However, these assays are mostly monospecific, requiring separate amplifications for each HPIV type. In the present work, we describe multiplex RT-PCR assays that detect and differentiate HPIV serotypes 1, 2, and 3 in a combined reaction. Specifically, a mixture of three pairs of primers to conserved regions of the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase gene of each HPIV serotype was used for primary amplification, yielding amplicons with similar sizes. For typing, a second amplification was performed with a mixture of nested primers, yielding amplicons with sizes easily differentiated by agarose gel electrophoresis. A modified single-amplification RT-PCR assay with fluorescence-labeled nested primers, followed by analysis of the labeled products on an automated sequencing gel, was also evaluated. Fifteen temporally and geographically diverse HPIV isolates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention archives and 26 of 30 (87%) previously positive nasopharyngeal specimens (8 of 10 positive for HPIV serotype 1 [HPIV1], 9 of 10 positive for HPIV2, and 9 of 10 positive for HPIV3) were positive and were correctly typed by both assays. Negative results were obtained with naso- or oropharyngeal specimens and/or culture isolates of 33 unrelated respiratory tract pathogens, including HPIV4, enterovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, influenza virus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Our multiplex RT-PCR assays provide sensitive, specific, and simplified tools for the rapid diagnosis of HPIV infections.