Aline Méndez-Rodríguez, Pedro Horta, Heliot Zarza, Luis Guillermo Constante-Pérez, Fernando Salgado-Mejia, Ricardo López-Wilchis, Javier Juste

Surveying Bat-Hosted Adenoviruses and Herpesviruses: A Comprehensive Analysis

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Ecology

Bats have gained cumulative attention as potential reservoirs for viruses, being crucial to increase our ability to predict viral prevalence and transmissions, as well as support the possible management of future zoonotic episodes. Following the PRISMA standard systematic review protocols, we conducted a comprehensive search worldwide for scientific papers dealing with bat-hosted viruses of the Adenoviridae and Herpesviridae families. The search was completed using the Scopus, CABI, and SciELO, databases of bat-associated viruses of these two families as well as the Google Scholar search engine. Our search comprised a total of 2656 scientific papers. After a thorough review and screening of the papers, we selected for our study a total of 90 papers published between 1996 and 2022. We found marked taxonomic and spatial biases, the most studied bats being predominantly vespertilionids, rhinolophids, phyllostomids, and pteropodids, whereas other families (e.g., Natalidae, Noctilionidae, and Furipteridae) are still lacking information. The most studied areas are southern and east Asia, although there are large areas (north Africa, the Middle East, and all the way to central or northern Asia) still overlooked. Out of the total number of papers, as many as 55 identified bat-hosted Adenovirus (AdV) and 54 papers identified Herpesvirus (HSV). Our revision reveals the presence of AdVs in a total of 97 bat species from 42 genera and 11 families. The presence of HSVs is reported also in 109 bat species from 45 genera and 10 families. Although both AdVs and HSVs in general show a clear host specificity and parallel evolution with their hosts, these results also point to the potential of these viruses to cross, in some cases, species barriers.

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