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|Title: ||Widespread coronavirus infection in Ghanaian bats: seasonal, demographic and ecological factors influence infection risk Image: Marco|
|Authors: ||Baldwin, H. J.|
Corman, V. M.
Nkrumah, E. E.
Badu, E. K.
Annan, A. A.
|Issue Date: ||2015|
|Publisher: ||Ulm University|
|Abstract: ||Bats are implicated in the emergence of several zoonotic diseases, including the coronaviruses
(CoV) responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory
syndrome (MERS). Despite the considerable public health and economic cost of zoonotic CoV
outbreaks, little research has examined the ecology of CoVs in bat populations. To examine
individual and population-level risk factors for CoV infection in bats, we conducted a
longitudinal study of CoV in cave dwelling bats in Ghana, West Africa. We report widespread
CoV infection in African bats, with six of 17 bat species infected with CoVs belonging to several
Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus lineages. Juvenile bats had substantially higher risk of
infection than adults. There was a strong temporal association, with April-July having generally
higher detection rates, which may be compatible with an important role of juveniles and seasonal
roosting behaviour for CoV amplification. CoV co-infection and ectoparasitic infection showed
varying degrees of positive association with CoV infection, and there was evidence that lower
body condition may increase risk. These findings provide new insights into the seasonal,
demographic, ecological and processes that influence CoV infection dynamics in bats. We suggest
avenues on which to focus future strategies for the prediction and prevention of zoonotic CoV
outbreak, including avoiding consumption of juvenile bats and avoiding consumption and
seasonally avoiding direct and indirect contact with bats.|
|Description: ||An article published by Ulm University|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Science|
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