Eco-epidemiology and molecular characterization of coronavirus in bats and rodents from distinct ecologic disturbance gradients: analysis of genetic and ecological potential for the emergence of new coronavirus in national territory
Emerging infectious diseases pose a threat to public health and anthropogenic changes in habitat have contributed to an increase in the appearance rate of these diseases. About 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in which 70% have origin of wild animals and 37% are caused by RNA viruses. Bats and rodents are reservoirs of a wide variety of emerging viruses as coronavirus and paramyxovirus in bats and arena- and hantavirus in rodents. Epidemiological and phylogenetic studies indicate that all six coronavirus (CoV) with the capacity to infect humans result from events of "spillover" from bats, cattle and rodents to humans. Two highly pathogenic coronavirus emerged in the last 13 years, the coronavirus that causes the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ( "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome" CoV-SARS) and the coronavirus that causes the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome ( "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome" CoV-MERS), presenting a mortality rate of 10 and 37%. These coronaviruses show great similarity with others CoV identified in bats from different continents. Further studies realized after CoV-SARS epidemic demonstrate the presence of a wide range of CoV in diverse bats species from New and Old World, some with high genetic similarity and ability to use the same cellular receptor of this emerging CoV. Although bats present the greatest diversity of coronavirus among mammals, being described as the genetic source of all mammalian coronaviruses, Betacoronavirus clade "a", which includes the human coronavirus OC43 and HKU-1 was not detected in these hosts. The evolutionary origin of this virus lineage started to unravel with the identification Betacoronavirus "a" in wild rodents in China, reinforcing the possibility of origin some human CoV from rodents. Despite the great diversity of bats and rodents in Brazil and the high degree of ecological pressure in different Brazilian ecosystems, the diversity of coronavirus in bats and rodents is our country it is still unknown. This study aims to evaluate the occurrence, prevalence and diversity of CoV circulating in bats and rodents, covering different species, habitat nature, seasons and the life story of the hosts, allowing an eco-epidemiological study of this potential zoonotic viral group.
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