Molecular diversity of coronaviruses in bats.


The existence of coronaviruses in bats is unknown until the recent discovery of bat-SARS-CoV in Chinese horseshoe bats and a novel group 1 coronavirus in other bat species. Among 309 bats of 13 species captured from 20 different locations in rural areas of Hong Kong over a 16-month period, coronaviruses were amplified from anal swabs of 37 (12%) bats by RT-PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase (pol) and helicase genes revealed six novel coronaviruses from six different bat species, in addition to the two previously described coronaviruses. Among the six novel coronaviruses, four were group 1 coronaviruses (bat-CoV HKU2 from Chinese horseshoe bat, bat-CoV HKU6 from rickett's big-footed bat, bat-CoV HKU7 from greater bent-winged bat and bat-CoV HKU8 from lesser bent-winged bat) and two were group 2 coronaviruses (bat-CoV HKU4 from lesser bamboo bats and bat-CoV HKU5 from Japanese pipistrelles). An astonishing diversity of coronaviruses was observed in bats.

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@article{Woo2006MolecularDO, title={Molecular diversity of coronaviruses in bats.}, author={Patrick C. Y. Woo and Susanna K. P. Lau and Kenneth S. M. Li and Rosana W. S. Poon and Beatrice H. L. Wong and Hoi-wah Tsoi and Bethanie C K Yip and Yi Huang and Kwok-Hung Chan and Kwok-yung Yuen}, journal={Virology}, year={2006}, volume={351 1}, pages={180-7} }