Genetic diversity of coronaviruses in Miniopterus fuliginosus bats.Sci China Life Sci. 2016 Jun; 59(6):604-14.SC
Coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, pose significant public health threats. Bats have been suggested to act as natural reservoirs for both these viruses, and periodic monitoring of coronaviruses in bats may thus provide important clues about emergent infectious viruses. The Eastern bent-wing bat Miniopterus fuliginosus is distributed extensively throughout China. We therefore analyzed the genetic diversity of coronaviruses in samples of M. fuliginosus collected from nine Chinese provinces during 2011-2013. The only coronavirus genus found was Alphacoronavirus. We established six complete and five partial genomic sequences of alphacoronaviruses, which revealed that they could be divided into two distinct lineages, with close relationships to coronaviruses in Miniopterus magnater and Miniopterus pusillus. Recombination was confirmed by detecting putative breakpoints of Lineage 1 coronaviruses in M. fuliginosus and M. pusillus (Wu et al., 2015), which supported the results of topological and phylogenetic analyses. The established alphacoronavirus genome sequences showed high similarity to other alphacoronaviruses found in other Miniopterus species, suggesting that their transmission in different Miniopterus species may provide opportunities for recombination with different alphacoronaviruses. The genetic information for these novel alphacoronaviruses will improve our understanding of the evolution and genetic diversity of coronaviruses, with potentially important implications for the transmission of human diseases.