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Detection of filovirus-reactive antibodies in Australian bat species

Barr, J., Boyd, V., Todd, S., Smith, I., Prada, D., O'Dea, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-2757-7585, Jackson, B.ORCID: 0000-0002-8622-8035, Pearce, L., Adams, T.E., Vanderduys, E., Westcott, D., McKeown, A., Baker, M.L. and Marsh, G.A. (2022) Detection of filovirus-reactive antibodies in Australian bat species. Journal of General Virology, 103 (8). Art. 001785.

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Bats have been implicated as the reservoir hosts of filoviruses in Africa, with serological evidence of filoviruses in various bat species identified in other countries. Here, serum samples from 190 bats, comprising 12 different species, collected in Australia were evaluated for filovirus antibodies. An in-house indirect microsphere assay to detect antibodies that cross-react with Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus; EBOV) nucleoprotein (NP) followed by an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) were used to confirm immunoreactivity to EBOV and Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus; RESTV). We found 27 of 102 Yinpterochiroptera and 19 of 88 Yangochiroptera samples were positive to EBOV NP in the microsphere assay. Further testing of these NP positive samples by IFA revealed nine bat sera that showed binding to ebolavirus-infected cells. This is the first report of filovirus-reactive antibodies detected in Australian bat species and suggests that novel filoviruses may be circulating in Australian bats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Society for General Microbiology
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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