Detection of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus and Alphacoronavirus in the Bat Population of Taiwan.Zoonoses Public Health. 2016 12; 63(8):608-615.ZP
Bats have been demonstrated to be natural reservoirs of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) CoV. Faecal samples from 248 individuals of 20 bat species were tested for partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene of CoV and 57 faecal samples from eight bat species were tested positive. The highest detection rate of 44% for Scotophilus kuhlii, followed by 30% for Rhinolophus monoceros. Significantly higher detection rates of coronaviral RNA were found in female bats and Scotophilus kuhlii roosting in palm trees. Phylogenetic analysis classified the positive samples into SARS-related (SARSr) CoV, Scotophilus bat CoV 512 close to those from China and Philippines, and Miniopterus bat CoV 1A-related lineages. Coronaviral RNA was also detected in bat guano from Scotophilus kuhlii and Myotis formosus flavus on the ground and had potential risk for human exposure. Diverse bat CoV with zoonotic potential could be introduced by migratory bats and maintained in the endemic bat population in Taiwan.