Epidemiology and biology of a herpesvirus in rabies endemic vampire bat populations

Griffiths, M. E., Bergner, L. M. , Broos, A. , Meza, D. K. , Da Silva Filipe, A. , Davison, A. , Tello, C., Becker, D. J. and Streicker, D. G. (2020) Epidemiology and biology of a herpesvirus in rabies endemic vampire bat populations. Nature Communications, 11, 5951. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19832-4) (PMID:33230120) (PMCID:PMC7683562)

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Abstract

Rabies is a viral zoonosis transmitted by vampire bats across Latin America. Substantial public health and agricultural burdens remain, despite decades of bats culls and livestock vaccinations. Virally vectored vaccines that spread autonomously through bat populations are a theoretically appealing solution to managing rabies in its reservoir host. We investigate the biological and epidemiological suitability of a vampire bat betaherpesvirus (DrBHV) to act as a vaccine vector. In 25 sites across Peru with serological and/or molecular evidence of rabies circulation, DrBHV infects 80–100% of bats, suggesting potential for high population-level vaccine coverage. Phylogenetic analysis reveals host specificity within neotropical bats, limiting risks to non-target species. Finally, deep sequencing illustrates DrBHV super-infections in individual bats, implying that DrBHV-vectored vaccines might invade despite the highly prevalent wild-type virus. These results indicate DrBHV as a promising candidate vector for a transmissible rabies vaccine, and provide a framework to discover and evaluate candidate viral vectors for vaccines against bat-borne zoonoses.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Streicker, Dr Daniel and Bergner, Dr Laura and Villa Meza, Miss Diana and Griffiths, Megan and Da Silva Filipe, Dr Ana and Broos, Ms Alice and Davison, Professor Andrew
Authors: Griffiths, M. E., Bergner, L. M., Broos, A., Meza, D. K., Da Silva Filipe, A., Davison, A., Tello, C., Becker, D. J., 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 > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 11: 5951
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.13090214

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Viral Genomics and BioinformaticsAndrew DavisonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/12III-MRC-GU Centre for Virus Research
656321Genomics of human cytomegalovirusAndrew DavisonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/3MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH
169793Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestockDaniel StreickerWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)102507/Z/13/ZRInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
307106Epidemiology meets biotechnology: preventing viral emergence from batsDaniel StreickerWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)217221/Z/19/ZInstitute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine