1887

Abstract

Adenoviruses (AdVs) are diverse pathogens of humans and animals, with several dozen bat AdVs already identified. Considering that over 100 human AdVs are known, and the huge diversity of bat species, many bat AdVs likely remain undiscovered. To learn more about AdV prevalence, diversity and evolution, we sampled and tested bats in Cameroon using several PCR assays for viral and host DNA. AdV DNA was detected in 14 % of the 671 sampled animals belonging to 37 different bat species. There was a correlation between species roosting in larger groups and AdV DNA detection. The detected AdV DNA belonged to between 28 and 44 different, mostly previously unknown, mastadenovirus species. The novel isolates are phylogenetically diverse and while some cluster with known viruses, others appear to form divergent new clusters. The phylogenetic tree of novel and previously known bat AdVs does not mirror that of the various host species, but does contain structures consistent with a degree of virus–host co-evolution. Given that closely related isolates were found in different host species, it seems likely that at least some bat AdVs have jumped species barriers, probably in the more recent past; however, the tree is also consistent with such events having taken place throughout bat AdV evolution. AdV diversity was highest in bat species roosting in large groups. The study significantly increased the diversity of AdVs known to be harboured by bats, and suggests that host behaviours, such as roosting size, may be what limits some AdVs to one species rather than an inability of AdVs to infect other related hosts.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Fogarty International Center (Award K01 TW00003-1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: NathanD. Wolfe
  • Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (Award DP1-OD000370)
    • Principle Award Recipient: NathanD. Wolfe
  • United States Agency for International Development (Award GHN-A-OO-09-00010-00)
    • Principle Award Recipient: NathanD. Wolfe
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2021-04-19
2021-05-15
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