Review of Bats and SARS

Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Dec;12(12):1834-40. doi: 10.3201/eid1212.060401.

Abstract

Bats have been identified as a natural reservoir for an increasing number of emerging zoonotic viruses, including henipaviruses and variants of rabies viruses. Recently, we and another group independently identified several horseshoe bat species (genus Rhinolophus) as the reservoir host for a large number of viruses that have a close genetic relationship with the coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Our current research focused on the identification of the reservoir species for the progenitor virus of the SARS coronaviruses responsible for outbreaks during 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. In addition to SARS-like coronaviruses, many other novel bat coronaviruses, which belong to groups 1 and 2 of the 3 existing coronavirus groups, have been detected by PCR. The discovery of bat SARS-like coronaviruses and the great genetic diversity of coronaviruses in bats have shed new light on the origin and transmission of SARS coronaviruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • SARS Virus / genetics
  • SARS Virus / growth & development*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / transmission
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology*
  • Zoonoses / transmission
  • Zoonoses / virology*