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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2023

Assessment of virus and Leptospira carriage in bats in France

Abstract

With over 1,400 species worldwide, bats represent the second largest order of mammals after rodents, and are known to host major zoonotic pathogens. Here, we estimate the presence of pathogens in autochthonous bat populations. First, we set out to check our samples for PCR amplification efficiency by assessing the occurrence of inhibited PCR reactions from different types of bat samples with amplifying the housekeeping gene β-actin. Second, we investigated the presence of five targeted pathogens in a French bat population using PCR. We targeted viral RNA of Canine distemper virus , Alphacoronavirus , Lyssavirus , Rotavirus and bacterial Leptospira DNA. To do so, we screened for these viruses in bat faecal samples as well as in oropharyngeal swab samples. The presence of Leptospira was assessed in urine, kidney, lung and faecal samples. Results showed a frequency of inhibited reactions ranging from 5 to 60% of samples, varying according to the sample itself and also suspected to vary according to sampling method and the storage buffer solution used, demonstrating the importance of the sampling and storage on the probability of obtaining negative PCR results. For pathogen assessment, rotavirus and alphacoronavirus RNA were detected in Myotis myotis , Myotis daubentonii , Myotis emarginatus and Rhinolophus ferrumequinum bats. Rotaviruses were also detected in Barbastella barbastellus . The presence of alphacoronavirus also varied seasonally, with higher frequencies in late summer and October, suggesting that juveniles potentially play an important role in the dynamics of these viruses. Leptospira DNA was detected in M . myotis and M . daubentonii colonies. The 16S rRNA sequences obtained from Leptospira positive samples showed 100% genetic identity with L . borgpetersenii . Neither canine distemper virus nor lyssavirus RNA were detected in any of the tested samples. This study is the first to show the presence of Leptospira in autochthonous French bats in addition to coronavirus and rotavirus RNA previously reported in European autochthonous bats.
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hal-04253721 , version 1 (23-10-2023)

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Youssef Arnaout, Evelyne Picard-Meyer, Emmanuelle Robardet, Julien Cappelle, Florence Cliquet, et al.. Assessment of virus and Leptospira carriage in bats in France. PLoS ONE, 2023, 18 (10), pp.e0292840. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0292840⟩. ⟨hal-04253721⟩
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