DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms11122892 ISSN: 2076-2607

Metagenomic Sequencing of Lloviu Virus from Dead Schreiber’s Bats in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sejla Goletic, Teufik Goletic, Jasmin Omeragic, Jovana Supic, Naida Kapo, Melisa Nicevic, Vedad Skapur, Dunja Rukavina, Zinka Maksimovic, Adis Softic, Amer Alic
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Bats are a natural host for a number of viruses, many of which are zoonotic and thus present a threat to human health. RNA viruses of the family Filoviridae, many of which cause disease in humans, have been associated with specific bat hosts. Lloviu virus is a Filovirus which has been connected to mass mortality events in Miniopterus schreibersii colonies in Spain and Hungary, and some studies have indicated its immense zoonotic potential. A die-off has been recorded among Miniopterus schreibersii in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time, prompting the investigation to determine the causative agent. Bat carcasses were collected and subjected to pathological examination, after which the lung samples with notable histopathological changes, lung samples with no changes and guano were analyzed using metagenomic sequencing and RT-PCR. A partial Lloviu virus genome was sequenced from lung samples with histopathological changes and found to be closely related to Hungarian and Italian virus sequences. Further accumulation of mutations on the GP gene, coding the glycoprotein responsible for cell tropism and host preference, enhances the need for further characterization and monitoring of this virus to prevent spillover events and protect human health.

More from our Archive