Diverse replication-associated protein encoding circular DNA viruses in guano samples of Central-Eastern European bats
Circular replication-associated protein encoding single-stranded DNA (CRESS DNA) viruses are increasingly recognized worldwide in a variety of samples. Representative members include well-described veterinary pathogens with worldwide distribution, such as porcine circoviruses or beak and feather disease virus. In addition, numerous novel viruses belonging to the family Circoviridae with unverified pathogenic roles have been discovered in different human samples. Viruses of the family Genomoviridae have also been described as being highly abundant in different faecal and environmental samples, with case reports showing them to be suspected pathogens in human infections. In order to investigate the genetic diversity of these viruses in European bat populations, we tested guano samples from Georgia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. This resulted in the detection of six novel members of the family Circoviridae and two novel members of the family Genomoviridae. Interestingly, a gemini-like virus, namely niminivirus, which was originally found in raw sewage samples in Nigeria, was also detected in our samples. We analyzed the nucleotide composition of members of the family Circoviridae to determine the possible host origins of these viruses. This study provides the first dataset on CRESS DNA viruses of European bats, and members of several novel viral species were discovered.
We gratefully thank Olena Rodenko and Vitalii Hukov from the Bat Rehabilitation Center of Feldman Ecopark, Ukraine, for their help in bat sampling. Research activities in Serbia were supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia, Grant No. 173003. The research activity of F.J. was supported by TÁMOP (4.2.4.A/2-11-1-2012-0001)—National Excellence Program. K.K. was supported by the Szentágothai Talent Program (awarded by the Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs). G.K. and F.J. were supported by the ÚNKP-17-3-III and ÚNKP-17-4-III—New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities. The project was supported by the European Union, co-financed by the European Social Fund: Comprehensive Development for Implementing Smart Specialization Strategies at the University of Pécs (EFOP-3.6.1.-16-2016-00004), and by the University of Pécs in the framework of the “Viral Pathogenesis” Talent Centre program. The present scientific contribution is dedicated to the 650th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Pécs, Hungary.
Compliance with ethical standards
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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