The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Bats are the reservoir hosts for several Paramyxoviruses including two serious zoonotic viruses, Hendra virus and Nipah virus which are responsible for fatal infections in animals and humans. These two viruses are sufficiently different from previously described Paramyxoviruses and are included in a new genus, Henipavirus. We report here a survey of cave-dwelling, insectivorous bats in Thailand for the presence of henipaviruses. Pooled urine samples were collected in nine caves inhabited by six different bat species in the northern (Chiangmai and Nakornsawan) and southern (Songkla and Satoon) provinces of Thailand. A reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) assay using henipavirus-specific primers derived from the conserved region of the RNA polymerase (L) gene was used to detect known and unknown viruses in this genus. Samples from seven out of nine caves surveyed tested positive by RT-PCR. Nucleotide sequences of the PCR bands revealed the presence of diverse strains (three clusters and seven divergent genotypes) of previously uncharacterised paramyxovirus(es). Phylogenetic analysis based on the deduced L protein sequence revealed close correlations between the positive samples and the recently described but unclassified paramyxoviruses: Beilong virus and J-virus. This is the first report on the prevalence of paramyxovirus variants in cave-dwelling bats and highlights the importance of further epidemiological surveillance in bats.



First Page


Last Page