Identification of GBV-D, a novel GB-like flavivirus from Old World frugivorous Bats (Pteropus giganteus) in Bangladesh

Epstein, Jonathan H.; Quan, Phuong-Lan; Briese, Thomas; Street, Craig; Jabado, Omar J.; Conlan, Sean; Khan, Shahneaz Ali; Verdugo, Dawn; Hossain, M. Jahangir; Hutchison, Stephen K.; Egholm, Michael; Luby, Stephen P.; Daszak, Peter; Lipkin, W. Ian

Bats are reservoirs for a wide range of zoonotic agents including lyssa-, henipah-, SARS-like corona-, Marburg-, Ebola-, and astroviruses. In an effort to survey for the presence of other infectious agents, known and unknown, we screened sera from 16 Pteropus giganteus bats from Faridpur, Bangladesh, using high-throughput pyrosequencing. Sequence analyses indicated the presence of a previously undescribed virus that has approximately 50% identity at the amino acid level to GB virus A and C (GBV-A and -C). Viral nucleic acid was present in 5 of 98 sera (5%) from a single colony of free-ranging bats. Infection was not associated with evidence of hepatitis or hepatic dysfunction. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that this first GBV-like flavivirus reported in bats constitutes a distinct species within the Flaviviridae family and is ancestral to the GBV-A and -C virus clades.

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Center for Infection and Immunity
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March 17, 2011