Virome of arthropods infesting bats: highly divergent viruses in different vectors

ABSTRACT

Bats are reservoirs of important zoonotic viruses such as Nipah and SARS viruses. However, whether blood-sucking arthropods on the body surface of bats also carry these viruses and the relationship between viruses carried by blood-sucking arthropods and viruses carried by bats have not been determined. reported. This study collected 686 bloodsucking arthropods from the body surface of bats from Yunnan province, China, between 2012 and 2015, and they included wingless bat flies, bat flies, ticks , mites and fleas. Viruses carried by these arthropods were analyzed using a meta-transcriptomic approach and 144 positive-sense single-stranded RNA, negative-sense single-stranded RNA and double-stranded RNA viruses were found, of which 138 were potentially new. virus. These viruses have been classified into 14 different virus families or orders, including Bunyaviruses, Mononegavirals, Reoviridsand Picornavirals. Further analyzes revealed that Bunyaviruses were the most abundant virus group (84% of total viral RNA) in ticks, while narnaviruses were most abundant (52–92%) in bat fly and bat fly libraries wingless, followed by solemoviruses (1 to 29%) and reoviruses (0 to 43%). These viruses were highly structured according to arthropod types. It should be noted that no zoonotic viruses transmitted by bats have been found in the virome of arthropods infecting bats, which does not seem to confirm that bat surface arthropods are vectors of bats. zoonotic viruses carried by bats.

IMPORTANCE Bats are reservoirs of many important viral pathogens. To assess whether parasitic bloodsucking arthropods of bats participate in the circulation of these important viruses, it is necessary to conduct unbiased virome studies on these arthropods. We assessed five types of parasitic bloodsucking arthropods on the surface of bats in Yunnan, China, and identified a variety of viruses, some of which had high levels of prevalence and abundance, although there has limited virome overlap between distant arthropods. While most of the viromas discovered here are potentially arthropod-specific viruses, we have identified three possible arboviruses, including one orthobunyavirus and two vesiculoviruses (family Rhabdoviridae), suggesting that parasitic arthropods of bats carry viruses with a risk of spillage, which deserves further study.

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