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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/12507

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.
et. al
Keywords: zoonosis
bats
coronavirus
ecology
epidemiology
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
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/12507
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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