Caister Academic Press

Genetic Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Bat-borne Hantaviruses

Satoru Arai and Richard Yanagihara
from: Bats and Viruses: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar and Martin Schwemmle). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 59-86.


Open-access article
The recent discovery that multiple species of shrews and moles (order Eulipotyphla, families Soricidae and Talpidae) from Europe, Asia, Africa and/or North America harbour genetically distinct viruses belonging to the family Hantaviridae (order Bunyavirales) has prompted a further exploration of their host diversification. In analysing thousands of frozen, RNAlater®-preserved and ethanol-fixed tissues from bats (order Chiroptera) by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), ten hantaviruses have been detected to date in bat species belonging to the suborder Yinpterochiroptera (families Hipposideridae, Pteropodidae and Rhinolophidae) and the suborder Yangochiroptera (families Emballonuriade, Nycteridae and Vespertilionidae). Of these, six hantaviruses are from Asia (Xuân Sơn virus and Đakrông virus in Vietnam; Láibīn virus in China and Myanmar; Huángpí virus and Lóngquán virus in China; and Quezon virus in the Philippines); three are from Africa (Mouyassué virus in Côte d'Ivoire and Ethiopia; Magboi virus in Sierra Leone; and Makokou virus in Gabon); and one from Europe (Brno virus in the Czech Republic). Molecular identification of many more bat-borne hantaviruses is expected. However, thus far, none of these newfound viruses has been isolated in cell culture and it is unclear if they cause infection or disease in humans. Future research must focus on myriad unanswered questions about the genetic diversity and geographic distribution, as well as the pathogenic potential, of bat-borne viruses of the family Hantaviridae.
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