Viral Metagenomic Data Analyses of Five New World Bat Species from Argentina: Identification of 35 Novel DNA Viruses



Bats are natural reservoirs of a variety of zoonotic viruses, many of which cause severe human diseases. Characterizing viruses of bats inhabiting different geographical regions is important for understanding their viral diversity and for detecting viral spillovers between animal species. Herein, the diversity of DNA viruses of five arthropodophagous bat species from Argentina was investigated using metagenomics. Fecal samples of 29 individuals from five species (Tadarida brasiliensis, Molossus molossus, Eumops bonariensis, Eumops patagonicus, and Eptesicus diminutus) living at two different geographical locations, were investigated. Enriched viral DNA was sequenced using Illumina MiSeq, and the reads were trimmed and filtered using several bioinformatic approaches. The resulting nucleotide sequences were subjected to viral taxonomic classification. In total, 4,520,370 read pairs were sequestered by sequencing, and 21.1% of them mapped to viral taxa. Circoviridae and Genomoviridae were the most prevalent among vertebrate viral families in all bat species included in this study. Samples from the T. brasiliensis colony exhibited lower viral diversity than samples from other species of New World bats. We characterized 35 complete genome sequences of novel viruses. These findings provide new insights into the global diversity of bat viruses in poorly studied species, contributing to prevention of emerging zoonotic diseases and to conservation policies for endangered species.

Palabras clave

Chiroptera, Metagenomic, Virome, Virus identification, Cressdnaviricota, Cossaviricota, Anelloviridae