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Surveillance of respiratory and gastroenteric viruses in bats from an Atlantic Forest remnant in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Marina Galvão Bueno1 | Joana M. Maçaira1 | Leonardo Corrêa da Silva Junior2 | Patrícia Moura1 | Marcia Terezinha Baroni de Moraes1 | Paola Cristina Resende1 | Fernando do Couto Motta2 | Marilda M. Siqueira2 | Juliana da S. R. de Andrade1 | Tulio M. Fumian1 | Marize P. Miagostovich1 | Roberto Leonan M. Novaes3 | Sócrates F. Costa-Neto3 | Iuri Veríssimo3 | Stephany Nardi3 | Beatriz Maria S. Jorge3 | Marina Furtado3 | Ighor Leonardo A. Gomes2 | Ricardo Moratelli3 | Maria Ogrzewalska2

  1. Laboratorio de Virología Comparada e Ambiental (LVCA), Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brasil; 2. Laboratório de Vírus Respiratórios e do Sarampo (LVRS), Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brasil; 3. Área de Saúde Ambiental, Fiocruz Mata Atlântica, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brasil.

Ponente: Marina Galvão Bueno,

Bats are potential reservoir hosts of a wide diversity of viruses that cause respiratory and gastroenteric diseases, with impact on human and animal health, such as influenza A (Orthomyxoviridae), coronaviruses (Coronaviridae) and rotavirus (Reoviridae). During COVID-19 pandemic, a surveillance study was started to evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses in bats from an urban Atlantic Forest remnant of Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil. From 2020 to 2022, oral and rectal swabs and feces were collected from 269 animals of the Vespertilionidae and Phyllostomidae families. Genetic material was extracted, and samples were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2, influenza A virus and rotavirus. In addition, nested RT-PCR was used to detect other coronaviruses. Influenza A and SARS-CoV-2 were not detected, but 3% (8/269; CI 95%, 1.5-5.7%) were positive for coronaviruses from five phyllostomid species (Artibeus lituratus, Carollia perspicillata, Carollia brevicauda, Phyllostomus hastatus, Sturnira lilium); Regarding rotavirus detection, 1% (2/186; CI 95%, 0.3-3.8%) of samples was positive from A. lituratus. Sanger sequencing and comparison with sequences available in GenBank showed 90.4-99.3% nucleotide similarity with other alphacoronavirus sequences obtained from South American bats. In regards to rotavirus characterization, one sample showed similarity of 95.3%, for the NSP5 gene, with sequence isolated from a bat sample from the Atlantic Forest of São Paulo, and 96.3% of similarity with a G20P[28] human strain with multiple genes related to bat rotaviruses; and a similarity of 87.6% of RVA isolate G20P[47] from a Cperspicillata. Full genome sequencing analyzes will still be performed with other gene targets, for better characterization of the viruses detected. Our study adds new information on the occurrence of important viruses in bat populations from Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro highlighting the need for long-term viral ecological surveillance in reservoir hosts, according to the One Health approach.

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