Natural Hendra virus infection in flying-foxes - tissue tropism and risk factors

Goldspink, Lauren and Edson, Daniel W. and Vidgen, Miranda E. and Bingham, John and Field, Hume E. and Smith, Craig S. (2015) Natural Hendra virus infection in flying-foxes - tissue tropism and risk factors. PLoS One, 10 (6). pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Hendra virus (HeV) is a lethal zoonotic agent that emerged in 1994 in Australia. Pteropid bats (flying-foxes) are the natural reservoir. To date, HeV has spilled over from flying-foxes to horses on 51 known occasions, and from infected horses to close-contact humans on seven occasions. We undertook screening of archived bat tissues for HeV by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Tissues were tested from 310 bats including 295 Pteropodiformes and 15 Vespertilioniformes. HeV was detected in 20 individual flying-foxes (6.4%) from various tissues including spleen, kidney, liver, lung, placenta and blood components. Detection was significantly higher in Pteropus Alecto and P. conspicillatus, identifying species as a risk factor for infection. Further, our findings indicate that HeV has a predilection for the spleen, suggesting this organ plays an important role in HeV infection. The lack of detections in the foetal tissues of HeV-positive females suggests that vertical transmission is not a regular mode of transmission in naturally infected flyingfoxes, and that placental and foetal tissues are not a major source of infection for horses. A better understanding of HeV tissue tropism will strengthen management of the risk of spillover from flying-foxes to horses and ultimately humans.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available in accordance with Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2017 06:05
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 05:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: spleen; respiratory infection; kidney; horses; pregnancy; viral replication; Polymerase chain reaction; urine
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070703 Veterinary Diagnosis and Diagnostics
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070712 Veterinary Virology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128835
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30738

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