Bats are reservoir hosts of many zoonotic viruses and identification of viruses that they carry is important. This study aimed to use high throughput screening to identify the viruses in fecal guano of Taiwanese insectivorous bats caves in order to obtain more information on bat-derived pathogenic viruses in East Asia. Guano samples were collected from two caves in Taiwan, pooled, and then subjected to Multiplex PCR-based next generation sequencing for viral identification. Subsequently, encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) sequence was detected and confirmed by reverse transcription PCR. EMCV is considered as rodent virus and thus, animal species identification through cytochrome oxidase I (COI) barcoding was further done to identify the viral source. Finally, determination of distribution and verification of the presence of EMCV in guano obtained from Japanese and South Korean caves was also done. We concluded that the guano collected was not contaminated with the excrement of rodents which were reported and presumed to live in Taiwan. Also, EMCV genome fragments were found in guanos of Japanese and South Korean caves. It is possible that the eastern bent-wing bat (Miniopterus fuliginosus) is one of the natural hosts of EMCV in East Asia.
Keywords: Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV); Miniopterus fuliginosus.
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