Various pathogens, such as Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and SARS-CoV-2, are threatening human health worldwide. The natural hosts of these pathogens are thought to be bats. The rousette bat, a megabat, is thought to be a natural reservoir of filoviruses, including Ebola and Marburg viruses. Additionally, the rousette bat showed a transient infection in the experimental inoculation of SARS-CoV-2. In the current study, we established and characterized intestinal organoids from Leschenault's rousette, Rousettus leschenaultii. The established organoids successfully recapitulated the characteristics of intestinal epithelial structure and morphology, and the appropriate supplements necessary for long-term stable culture were identified. The organoid showed susceptibility to Pteropine orthoreovirus (PRV) but not to SARS-CoV-2 in experimental inoculation. This is the first report of the establishment of an expandable organoid culture system of the rousette bat intestinal organoid and its sensitivity to bat-associated viruses, PRV and SARS-CoV-2. This organoid is a useful tool for the elucidation of tolerance mechanisms of the emerging rousette bat-associated viruses such as Ebola and Marburg virus.
Keywords: ACE2; SARS-CoV-2; TMPRSS2; bat; long-term stable culture; natural host; organoid; virus susceptibility.