Demographic and environmental drivers of metagenomic viral diversity in vampire bats

Bergner, L. M. , Orton, R. J. , Benavides, J. A., Becker, D. J., Tello, C., Biek, R. and Streicker, D. G. (2020) Demographic and environmental drivers of metagenomic viral diversity in vampire bats. Molecular Ecology, 29(1), pp. 26-39. (doi: 10.1111/mec.15250) (PMID:31561274) (PMCID:PMC7004108)

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Abstract

Viruses infect all forms of life and play critical roles as agents of disease, drivers of biochemical cycles and sources of genetic diversity for their hosts. Our understanding of viral diversity derives primarily from comparisons among host species, precluding insight into how intraspecific variation in host ecology affects viral communities or how predictable viral communities are across populations. We test spatial, demographic and environmental hypotheses explaining viral richness and community composition across populations of common vampire bats, which occur in diverse habitats of North, Central and South America. We demonstrate marked variation in viral communities which was not consistently predicted by a null model of declining community similarity with increasing spatial or genetic distances separating populations. We also find no evidence that larger bat colonies host greater viral diversity. Instead, viral diversity follows an elevational gradient, is enriched by juvenile‐biased age structure, and declines with local anthropogenic food resources as measured by livestock density. Our results establish the value of linking the modern influx of metagenomic sequence data with comparative ecology, reveal that snapshot views of viral diversity are unlikely to be representative at the species level, and affirm existing ecological theories that link host ecology not only to single pathogen dynamics but also to viral communities.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Streicker, Dr Daniel and Benavides, Dr Julio and Biek, Professor Roman and Bergner, Dr Laura and Orton, Dr Richard
Authors: Bergner, L. M., Orton, R. J., Benavides, J. A., Becker, D. J., Tello, C., Biek, R., and Streicker, D. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:Molecular Ecology
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0962-1083
ISSN (Online):1365-294X
Published Online:27 September 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Molecular Ecology 29(1):26-39
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
169793Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestockDaniel StreickerWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)102507/Z/13/ZRInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine