#MERS-CoV in #Camels but Not Camel Handlers, #Sudan, 2015 and 2017 (Emerg Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Volume 25, Number 12—December 2019 / Research Letter

MERS-CoV in Camels but Not Camel Handlers, Sudan, 2015 and 2017

Elmoubasher Farag1, Reina S. Sikkema1, Ahmed A. Mohamedani, Erwin de Bruin, Bas B. Oude Munnink, Felicity Chandler, Robert Kohl, Anne van der Linden, Nisreen M.A. Okba, Bart L. Haagmans, Judith M.A. van den Brand, Asia Mohamed Elhaj, Adam D. Abakar, Bakri Y.M. Nour, Ahmed M. Mohamed, Bader Eldeen Alwaseela, Husna Ahmed, Mohd Mohd Alhajri, Marion Koopmans, Chantal Reusken2, and Samira Hamid Abd Elrahman2

Author affiliations: Ministry of Public Health, Doha, Qatar (E. Farag, M.M. Alhajri); Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (R.S. Sikkema, E. de Bruin, B.B.O. Munnink, F. Chandler, R. Kohl, A. van der Linden, N.M.A. Okba, B.L. Haagmans, M. Koopmans, C. Reusken); University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan (A.A. Mohamedani, S.H.A. Elrahman); Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands (J.M.A. van den Brand); Blue Nile National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Wad Medani (A.M. Elhaj, A.D. Abakar, B.Y.M. Nour, A.M. Mohamed, S.H.A. Elrahman); Tamboul Camel Research Centre, Tamboul, Sudan (B.E. Alwaseela, H. Ahmed); National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands (C. Reusken)



We tested samples collected from camels, camel workers, and other animals in Sudan and Qatar in 2015 and 2017 for evidence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. MERS-CoV antibodies were abundant in Sudan camels, but we found no evidence of MERS-CoV infection in camel workers, other livestock, or bats.

Keywords: MERS-CoV; Camels; Human; Bats; Sudan.


Rousettus aegyptiacus #Bats Do Not Support Productive #Nipah Virus #Replication (J Infect Dis., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Rousettus aegyptiacus Bats Do Not Support Productive Nipah Virus Replication

Stephanie N Seifert, Michael C Letko, Trenton Bushmaker, Eric D Laing, Greg Saturday, Kimberly Meade-White, Neeltje van Doremalen, Christopher C Broder, Vincent J Munster

The Journal of Infectious Diseases, jiz429, https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiz429

Published: 04 November 2019



Nipah virus (NiV) is a bat-borne zoonotic pathogen that can cause severe respiratory distress and encephalitis upon spillover into humans. Nipah virus is capable of infecting a broad range of hosts including humans, pigs, ferrets, dogs, cats, hamsters, and at least 2 genera of bats. Little is known about the biology of NiV in the bat reservoir. In this study, we evaluate the potential for the Egyptian fruit bat (EFB), Rousettus aegyptiacus, to serve as a model organism for studying NiV in bats. Our data suggest that NiV does not efficiently replicate in EFBs in vivo. Furthermore, we show a lack of seroconversion against NiV glycoprotein and a lack of viral replication in primary and immortalized EFB-derived cell lines. Our data show that despite using a conserved target for viral entry, NiV replication is limited in some bat species. We conclude that EFBs are not an appropriate organism to model NiV infection or transmission in bats.

bats, Egyptian fruit bats, experimental infection, Nipah virus

Topic: cell lines – chiroptera – fruit – nipah virus

Issue Section: supplement articles

Keywords: Nipah virus; Bats; Animal models.


#Dendritic Cells Generated From Mops condylurus, a Likely #Filovirus Reservoir Host, Are Susceptible to and Activated by #Zaire #Ebolavirus Infection (Front Immunol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Front Immunol. 2019 Oct 11;10:2414. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02414. eCollection 2019.

Dendritic Cells Generated From Mops condylurus, a Likely Filovirus Reservoir Host, Are Susceptible to and Activated by Zaire Ebolavirus Infection.

Edenborough KM1, Bokelmann M1, Lander A1, Couacy-Hymann E2, Lechner J3, Drechsel O3, Renard BY3, Radonić A3, Feldmann H4, Kurth A1, Prescott J1.

Author information: 1 Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany. 2 LANADA, Laboratoire National d’Appui au Développement Agricole, Bingerville, Côte d’Ivoire. 3 Methodology and Research Infrastructure, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany. 4 Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, ON, United States.



Ebola virus infection of human dendritic cells (DCs) induces atypical adaptive immune responses and thereby exacerbates Ebola virus disease (EVD). Human DCs, infected with Ebola virus aberrantly express low levels of the DC activation markers CD80, CD86, and MHC class II. The T cell responses ensuing are commonly anergic rather than protective against EVD. We hypothesize that DCs derived from potential reservoir hosts such as bats, which do not develop disease signs in response to Ebola virus infection, would exhibit features associated with activation. In this study, we have examined Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) infection of DCs derived from the Angolan free-tailed bat species, Mops condylurus. This species was previously identified as permissive to EBOV infection in vivo, in the absence of disease signs. M. condylurus has also been recently implicated as the reservoir host for Bombali ebolavirus, a virus species that is closely related to EBOV. Due to the absence of pre-existing M. condylurus species-specific reagents, we characterized its de novo assembled transcriptome and defined its phylogenetic similarity to other mammals, which enabled the identification of cross-reactive reagents for M. condylurus bone marrow-derived DC (bat-BMDC) differentiation and immune cell phenotyping. Our results reveal that bat-BMDCs are susceptible to EBOV infection as determined by detection of EBOV specific viral RNA (vRNA). vRNA increased significantly 72 h after EBOV-infection and was detected in both cells and in culture supernatants. Bat-BMDC infection was further confirmed by the observation of GFP expression in DC cultures infected with a recombinant GFP-EBOV. Bat-BMDCs upregulated CD80 and chemokine ligand 3 (CCL3) transcripts in response to EBOV infection, which positively correlated with the expression levels of EBOV vRNA. In contrast to the aberrant responses to EBOV infection that are typical for human-DC, our findings from bat-BMDCs provide evidence for an immunological basis of asymptomatic EBOV infection outcomes.

Copyright © 2019 Edenborough, Bokelmann, Lander, Couacy-Hymann, Lechner, Drechsel, Renard, Radonić, Feldmann, Kurth and Prescott.

KEYWORDS: Ebola virus (EBOV); Mops condylurus; dendritic cells; filovirus; reservoir hosts; transcriptome

PMID: 31681302 PMCID: PMC6797855 DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02414

Keywords: Filovirus; Ebola; ZEBOV; Bats.


#Filovirus-reactive #antibodies in #humans and #bats in Northeast #India imply zoonotic #spillover (PLOS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]


Filovirus-reactive antibodies in humans and bats in Northeast India imply zoonotic spillover

Pilot Dovih, Eric D. Laing, Yihui Chen, Dolyce H. W. Low, B. R. Ansil, Xinglou Yang, Zhengli Shi, Christopher C. Broder, Gavin J. D. Smith, Martin Linster, Uma Ramakrishnan, Ian H. Mendenhall


Published: October 31, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007733



Bats are reservoirs for several zoonotic pathogens, including filoviruses. Recent work highlights the diversity of bat borne filoviruses in Asia. High risk activities at the bat-human interface pose the threat of zoonotic virus transmission. We present evidence for prior exposure of bat harvesters and two resident fruit bat species to filovirus surface glycoproteins by screening sera in a multiplexed serological assay. Antibodies reactive to two antigenically distinct filoviruses were detected in human sera and to three individual filoviruses in bats in remote Northeast India. Sera obtained from Eonycteris spelaea bats showed similar patterns of cross-reactivity as human samples, suggesting them as the species responsible for the spillover. In contrast, sera from Rousettus leschenaultii bats reacted to two different virus glycoproteins. Our results indicate circulation of several filoviruses in bats and the possibility for filovirus transmission from bats to humans.


Author summary

Focused virus surveillance at human-wildlife interfaces enables proactive detection of potentially epidemic pathogens. Filoviruses, including ebolaviruses and marburgviruses, are pathogens with epidemic potential. They were previously detected in bats and have caused disease outbreaks in humans with a high case fatality rate. Here, we tested sera obtained from bats and humans at a high-risk interface for the presence of filovirus reactive antibodies. Human participants were engaged in annual bat hunts, possibly exposing them to bat-borne viruses. We report the exposure of humans to filoviruses that were likely derived from the two sampled bat species. The bats contain antibodies raised to presumably three distinct filoviruses. Our findings suggest bats in South Asia act as a reservoir host of a diverse range of filoviruses and filovirus spillover occurs through human exposure to these bats.


Citation: Dovih P, Laing ED, Chen Y, Low DHW, Ansil BR, Yang X, et al. (2019) Filovirus-reactive antibodies in humans and bats in Northeast India imply zoonotic spillover. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(10): e0007733. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007733

Editor: Eric Mossel, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, UNITED STATES

Received: April 17, 2019; Accepted: August 26, 2019; Published: October 31, 2019

This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files. Next generation sequencing files are available from the Sequence Read Archive at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (Accession Numbers: SAMN12359407, SAMN12359408).

Funding: This project was funded by a United States Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Broad Agency Announcement grant for the project ‘Bat harvesting in India: Detection, characterization and mitigation of emerging infectious disease risk’ to IHM (HDTRA1-17-1-0028; PI: IHM); a Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India award (2012/21/06/BRNS) to UR; and funding from Biological Defense Research Directorate of the Naval Medical Research Center (HT9404-13-1-0021) to CCB; Component Project: Soluble Trimeric Filovirus Envelope Glycoproteins. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Filovirus; Serology; Bats; Human; India.


#Serological evidence of #MERS-CoV and #HKU8-related #Coronavirus #coinfection in #Kenyan #camels (Emerg Microbes Infect., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2019;8(1):1528-1534. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2019.1679610.

Serological evidence of MERS-CoV and HKU8-related CoV co-infection in Kenyan camels.

Zhang W1, Zheng XS1,2, Agwanda B3, Ommeh S4, Zhao K1,2, Lichoti J5, Wang N1, Chen J1,2, Li B1, Yang XL1, Mani S6, Ngeiywa KJ5,7, Zhu Y1, Hu B1, Onyuok SO1, Yan B1, Anderson DE6, Wang LF6, Zhou P1, Shi ZL1.

Author information: 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Center for Biosafety Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Wuhan , People’s Republic of China. 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing , People’s Republic of China. 3 Department of Zoology, National Museums of Kenya , Nairobi , Kenya. 4 Institute for Biotechnology Research, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology , Nairobi , Kenya. 5 Directorate of Veterinary Services, State Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture , Livestock and Fisheries , Kenya. 6 Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases Duke-NUS Medical School , Singapore , Singapore. 7 Kenya Camel Association , Nairobi , Kenya.



Dromedary camels are important reservoir hosts of various coronaviruses, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that cause human infections. CoV genomes regularly undergo recombination during infection as observed in bat SARS-related CoVs. Here we report for the first time that only a small proportion of MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain positive (RBD) of spike protein positive camel sera in Kenya were also seropositive to MERS-CoV nucleocapsid (NP). In contrast, many of them contain antibodies against bat HKU8-related (HKU8r)-CoVs. Among 584 camel samples that were positive against MERS-CoV RBD, we found only 0.48 (8.22%) samples were also positive for NP. Furthermore, we found bat HKU8r-CoV NP antibody in 73 (12.5%) of the MERS-CoV RBD positive and NP negative samples, yet found only 3 (0.43%) of the HKU8r-CoV S1 antibody in the same samples. These findings may indicate co-infection with MERS-CoV and a HKU8r-CoV in camels. It may also raise the possibility of the circulation of a recombinant coronavirus virus with the spike of MERS-CoV and the NP of a HKU8r-CoV in Kenya. We failed to find molecular evidence of an HKU8r-CoV or a putative recombinant virus. Our findings should alert other investigators to look for molecular evidence of HKU8r-CoV or recombinants.

KEYWORDS: HKU8; MERS; bat; camel; coronavirus

PMID: 31645223 DOI: 10.1080/22221751.2019.1679610

Keywords: MERS-CoV; Coronavirus; Bats; Camels; Recombination; Kenya.


Recent #advances in the understanding of #Nipah virus #immunopathogenesis and #antiviral approaches (F1000Res., abstract)

[Source: F1000 Research, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Recent advances in the understanding of Nipah virus immunopathogenesis and anti-viral approaches

[version 1; peer review: 3 approved]

Rodolphe Pelissier*, Mathieu Iampietro*, Branka Horvat

* Equal contributors

Author details: International Center for Infectiology Research-CIRI, Immunobiology of Viral Infections team, Inserm U1111, CNRS, UMR5308, University of Lyon, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France



Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly lethal zoonotic paramyxovirus that emerged at the end of last century as a human pathogen capable of causing severe acute respiratory infection and encephalitis. Although NiV provokes serious diseases in numerous mammalian species, the infection seems to be asymptomatic in NiV natural hosts, the fruit bats, which provide a continuous virus source for further outbreaks. Consecutive human-to-human transmission has been frequently observed during outbreaks in Bangladesh and India. NiV was shown to interfere with the innate immune response and interferon type I signaling, restraining the anti-viral response and permitting viral spread. Studies of adaptive immunity in infected patients and animal models have suggested an unbalanced immune response during NiV infection. Here, we summarize some of the recent studies of NiV pathogenesis and NiV-induced modulation of both innate and adaptive immune responses, as well as the development of novel prophylactic and therapeutic approaches, necessary to control this highly lethal emerging infection.

Keywords: Nipah virus, innate immunity, adaptive immunity, pathogenesis, animal models, contra-measures


Corresponding author: Branka Horvat

Competing interests: No competing interests were disclosed.Grant information: The work was supported by LABEX ECOFECT (ANR-11-LABX-0048) of Lyon University within the “Investissements d’Avenir” program (ANR-11-IDEX-0007) conducted by the French National Research Agency (NRA) and by the Aviesan Sino-French agreement on Nipah virus study. RP is supported by a doctoral fellowship from the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA).

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Copyright:  © 2019 Pelissier R et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to cite: Pelissier R, Iampietro M and Horvat B. Recent advances in the understanding of Nipah virus immunopathogenesis and anti-viral approaches [version 1; peer review: 3 approved]. F1000Research 2019, 8(F1000 Faculty Rev):1763 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.19975.1)

First published: 16 Oct 2019, 8(F1000 Faculty Rev):1763 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.19975.1)

Latest published: 16 Oct 2019, 8(F1000 Faculty Rev):1763 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.19975.1)

Keywords: Paramyxovirus; Nipah virus; Human; Bats; Immunopathology.


Lek-associated movement of a putative #Ebolavirus #reservoir, the hammer-headed fruit #bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus), in northern Republic of #Congo (PLoS One, abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

PLoS One. 2019 Oct 1;14(10):e0223139. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223139. eCollection 2019.

Lek-associated movement of a putative Ebolavirus reservoir, the hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus), in northern Republic of Congo.

Olson SH1, Bounga G2, Ondzie A2, Bushmaker T3, Seifert SN3, Kuisma E2, Taylor DW1, Munster VJ3, Walzer C1,4.

Author information: 1 Wildlife Conservation Society, Health Program, Bronx, New York, United States of America. 2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. 3 Virus Ecology Section, Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, Montana, United States of America. 4 Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



The biology and ecology of Africa’s largest fruit bat remains largely understudied and enigmatic despite at least two highly unusual attributes. The acoustic lek mating behavior of the hammer-headed bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) in the Congo basin was first described in the 1970s. More recently molecular testing implicated this species and other African bats as potential reservoir hosts for Ebola virus and it was one of only two fruit bat species epidemiologically linked to the 2008 Luebo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ebola outbreak. Here we share findings from the first pilot study of hammer-headed bat movement using GPS tracking and accelerometry units and a small preceding radio-tracking trial at an apparent lekking site. The radio-tracking revealed adult males had high rates of nightly visitation to the site compared to females (only one visit) and that two of six females day-roosted ~100 m west of Libonga, the nearest village that is ~1.6 km southwest. Four months later, in mid-April 2018, five individual bats, comprised of four males and one female, were tracked from two to 306 days, collecting from 67 to 1022 GPS locations. As measured by mean distance to the site and proportion of nightly GPS locations within 1 km of the site (percent visitation), the males were much more closely associated with the site (mean distance 1.4 km; 51% visitation), than the female (mean 5.5 km; 2.2% visitation). Despite the small sample size, our tracking evidence supports our original characterization of the site as a lek, and the lek itself is much more central to male than female movement. Moreover, our pilot demonstrates the technical feasibility of executing future studies on hammer-headed bats that will help fill problematic knowledge gaps about zoonotic spillover risks and the conservation needs of fruit bats across the continent.

PMID: 31574111 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223139

Keywords: Ebolavirus; Wildlife; Bats; Rep. of Congo.