Distribution of bat-borne viruses and environment patterns

Infect Genet Evol. 2018 Mar;58:181-191. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.12.009. Epub 2017 Dec 23.


Environmental modifications are leading to biodiversity changes, loss and habitat disturbance. This in turn increases contacts between wildlife and hence the risk of transmission and emergence of zoonotic diseases. We analyzed the environment and land use using remote spatial data around the sampling locations of bats positive for coronavirus (21 sites) and astrovirus (11 sites) collected in 43 sites. A clear association between viruses and hosts was observed. Viruses associated to synanthropic bat genera, such as Myotis or Scotophilus were associated to highly transformed habitats with human presence while viruses associated to fruit bat genera were correlated with natural environments with dense forest, grassland areas and regions of high elevation. In particular, group C betacoronavirus were associated with mosaic habitats found in anthropized environments.

Keywords: Bat viruses; Cambodia; Emerging diseases; Environmental analysis; Evolution of environment; Lao PDR; South East Asia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astroviridae / classification
  • Astroviridae / genetics
  • Cambodia
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Coronavirus / classification
  • Coronavirus / genetics
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Laos
  • Mice
  • Phylogeny
  • Phylogeography
  • RNA Viruses
  • Zoonoses / transmission*
  • Zoonoses / virology*