A Recently Discovered Pathogenic Paramyxovirus, Sosuga Virus, is Present in Rousettus aegyptiacus Fruit Bats at Multiple Locations in Uganda

J Wildl Dis. 2015 Jul;51(3):774-9. doi: 10.7589/2015-02-044. Epub 2015 Apr 28.


In August 2012, a wildlife biologist became ill immediately following a 6-wk field trip to collect bats and rodents in South Sudan and Uganda. After returning to the US, the biologist was admitted to the hospital with multiple symptoms including fever, malaise, headache, generalized myalgia and arthralgia, stiffness in the neck, and sore throat. Soon after admission, the patient developed a maculopapular rash and oropharynx ulcerations. The patient remained hospitalized for 14 d. Several suspect pathogens, including viral hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola viruses and Marburg viruses, were ruled out through standard diagnostic testing. However, deep sequencing and metagenomic analyses identified a novel paramyxovirus, later named Sosuga virus, in the patient's blood. To determine the potential source, bat tissues collected during the 3-wk period just prior to the onset of symptoms were tested for Sosuga virus, and several Egyptian rousette bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) were found to be positive. Further analysis of archived Egyptian rousette tissues collected at other localities in Uganda found additional Sosuga virus-positive bats, suggesting this species could be a potential natural reservoir for this novel paramyxovirus.

Keywords: Bats; Rousettus aegyptiacus; Sosuga virus; paramyxovirus; spillover; wildlife biologist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / virology
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paramyxoviridae / physiology*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Phylogeny
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Uganda / epidemiology