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Evidence of Hantavirus Infection Among Bats in Brazil

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  • Center for Virology Research, School of Medicine in Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Department of Ecology, São Paulo State University, Rio Claro, Brazil; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Louisville Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Louisville, Kentucky; Department of Microbiology, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, Knoxville, Tennessee; Department of Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas; Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Hantaviruses are zoonotic viruses harbored by rodents, bats, and shrews. At present, only rodent-borne hantaviruses are associated with severe illness in humans. New species of hantaviruses have been recently identified in bats and shrews greatly expanding the potential reservoirs and ranges of these viruses. Brazil has one of the highest incidences of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome in South America, hence it is critical to know what is the prevalence of hantaviruses in Brazil. Although much is known about rodent reservoirs, little is known regarding bats. We captured 270 bats from February 2012 to April 2014. Serum was screened for the presence of antibodies against a recombinant nucleoprotein (rN) of Araraquara virus (ARAQV). The prevalence of antibody to hantavirus was 9/53 with an overall seroprevalence of 17%. Previous studies have shown only insectivorous bats to harbor hantavirus; however, in our study, of the nine seropositive bats, five were frugivorous, one was carnivorous, and three were sanguivorous phyllostomid bats.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Gilberto Sabino-Santos Jr, Center for Virology Research, School of Medicine in Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Avenida Bandeirantes no. 3900, Monte Alegre, 14049900, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail: sabinogsj@usp.br

Financial support: This work was supported by the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) grants 2011/06810-9 to Gilberto Sabino-Santos Jr and 2008/50617-6 to Luiz Tadeu Moraes Figueiredo.

Authors' addresses: Gilberto Sabino-Santos Jr. and Luiz Tadeu Moraes Figueiredo, Center for Virology Research, School of Medicine in Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mails: sabinogsj@usp.br and ltmfigue@fmrp.usp.br. Felipe Gonçalves Motta Maia, Center for Virology Research, School of Medicine in Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, and Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, Miranda Lima, Cristieli Barros Gonçalves, Patricia Doerl Barroso, and Maria Norma Melo, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, E-mails: thallytabio@gmail.com, sabrina_mlima@hotmail.com, criscat_87@hotmail.com, patydoerl@hotmail.com, and normamello@gmail.com. Renata de Lara Muylaert, Department of Ecology, São Paulo State University, Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: renatamuy@gmail.com. Colleen B. Jonsson, Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, and Department of Microbiology, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, Knoxville, TN, E-mail: cbjons01@louisville.edu. Douglas Goodin, Department of Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, E-mail: dgoodin@ksu.edu. Jorge Salazar-Bravo, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, E-mail: j.salazar-bravo@ttu.edu.

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