Several recent studies have reported that various bat species harbor bat hepatitis E viruses (BatHEV) belonging to the family Hepeviridae, which also contains human hepatitis E virus (HEV). The distribution and ecology of BatHEV are not well known. Here, we collected and screened 81 bat fecal samples from nine bat species in Japan to detect BatHEV RNA by RT-PCR using HEV-specific primers, and detected three positive samples. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses indicated that these three viruses were BatHEVs belonging to genus Orthohepevirus D like other BatHEV strains reported earlier in various countries. These data support the first detection of BatHEVs in Japanese microbats, indicating their wide geographical distribution among multiple bat species.
Virus Genes – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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