Detection of novel paramyxoviruses in Chaerephon bat species in Nigeria and phylogenetics of paramyxoviruses co-evolution with bats in Africa.
Bat paramyxoviruses (PmV) are a diverse group of viruses and include zoonotic viruses such as henipaviruses. Members of this group in other continents have been associated with severe respiratory and neurological infections in animals and humans. Furthermore, despite the richness of diverse bat species that can transmit this virus in African countries like Nigeria, there is very scanty information as to the presence and co-evolution of paramyxoviruses in bats. There is a need for continuous surveillance of zoonotic viruses and their biological reservoirs as this will help in the prevention and management of pathogens' spillovers. This study detected novel paramyxoviruses in Chaerephon nigeriae bat species found in Badagry, Lagos. Phylogenetic analyses of paramyxovirus sequences' co-evolution with frugivorous and insectivorous bats circulating in African countries were also performed using sequences of African origin available in the Database of Bat-Associated Viruses (DBatVir: http://www.mgc.ac.cn/DBatVir/). Oral swabs (n = 18) and blood samples (n = 32) were collected from C. nigeriae bats in Badagry, Lagos. The L gene of bat paramyxovirus was detected in all oral swabs using PCR techniques. Six of the amplicons were successfully sequenced. Estimated phylogenies placed the sequences in close relationship with those isolated from insectivorous bats. Phylogenetic analyses of previously sequenced isolates in the African region showed the likelihood of different co-evolution mechanisms of paramyxoviruses with frugivorous bats compared with insectivorous bats. This may be due to codon usage bias of the L gene. Spatial distribution of paramyxoviruses in African countries showed limited ongoing surveillance of this virus in the continent, especially in southern and northern countries. Extensive surveillance of paramyxoviruses with possible zoonotic potentials among bat species in the continent is recommended. This will provide further insights into co-evolution as well as prevent possible spillover into the human population.