Lack of Marburg Virus Transmission from Experimentally Infected to Susceptible In-Contact Egyptian Fruit Bats

Janusz T. Paweska, Petrus Jansen Van Vuren, Karla A. Fenton, Kerry Graves, Antoinette A. Grobbelaar, Naazneen Moolla, Patricia Leman, Jacqueline Weyer, Nadia Storm, Stewart D. McCulloch, Terence P. Scott, Wanda Markotter, Lieza Odendaal, Sarah J. Clift, Thomas W. Geisbert, Martin J. Hale, Alan Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) were inoculated subcutaneously (n = 22) with Marburg virus (MARV). No deaths, overt signs of morbidity, or gross lesions was identified, but microscopic pathological changes were seen in the liver of infected bats. The virus was detected in 15 different tissues and plasma but only sporadically in mucosal swab samples, urine, and fecal samples. Neither seroconversion nor viremia could be demonstrated in any of the in-contact susceptible bats (n = 14) up to 42 days after exposure to infected bats. In bats rechallenged (n = 4) on day 48 after infection, there was no viremia, and the virus could not be isolated from any of the tissues tested. This study confirmed that infection profiles are consistent with MARV replication in a reservoir host but failed to demonstrate MARV transmission through direct physical contact or indirectly via air. Bats develop strong protective immunity after infection with MARV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S109-S118
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume212
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • Egyptian fruit bat
  • Marburg virus
  • experimental infection
  • horizontal transmission
  • shedding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Paweska, J. T., Van Vuren, P. J., Fenton, K. A., Graves, K., Grobbelaar, A. A., Moolla, N., Leman, P., Weyer, J., Storm, N., McCulloch, S. D., Scott, T. P., Markotter, W., Odendaal, L., Clift, S. J., Geisbert, T. W., Hale, M. J., & Kemp, A. (2015). Lack of Marburg Virus Transmission from Experimentally Infected to Susceptible In-Contact Egyptian Fruit Bats. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212, S109-S118. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiv132