Detection and prevalence patterns of group I coronaviruses in bats, northern Germany

Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Apr;14(4):626-31. doi: 10.3201/eid1404.071439.


We tested 315 bats from 7 different bat species in northern Germany for coronaviruses by reverse transcription-PCR. The overall prevalence was 9.8%. There were 4 lineages of group I coronaviruses in association with 4 different species of verspertilionid bats (Myotis dasycneme, M. daubentonii, Pipistrellus nathusii, P. pygmaeus). The lineages formed a monophyletic clade of bat coronaviruses found in northern Germany. The clade of bat coronaviruses have a sister relationship with a clade of Chinese type I coronaviruses that were also associated with the Myotis genus (M. ricketti). Young age and ongoing lactation, but not sex or existing gravidity, correlated significantly with coronavirus detection. The virus is probably maintained on the population level by amplification and transmission in maternity colonies, rather than being maintained in individual bats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chiroptera / classification
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Coronavirus / classification*
  • Coronavirus / genetics
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Phylogeny
  • Prevalence