Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 1179–1182 | Cite as

Fruit bats as a natural reservoir of zoonotic viruses

  • Guangle Jia
  • Ying Zhang
  • Tinghe Wu
  • Shuyi ZhangEmail author
  • Yinan Wang
View Special Topics


As a natural reservoir of manifold zoonotic viruses, fruit bats have been involved in at least three emerging zoonoses in recent years. This paper aims to introduce the epidemiological characteristics of these diseases emerged in the Australasian region between 1994 and 1999, transmission pathways of the newly discovered viruses and the relationship between the changed entironment of fruit bats and occurrences of these emerging diseases and provide a clue for the epidemiological investigations of SARS.


fruit bat natural reservoir zoonotic virus 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Murray, K., Selleck, P., Hooper, P. et al., A morbillivirus that caused fatal disease in horses and humans, Science, 1995, 268: 94–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Douglas, I. C., Baidock, F. C., Black, P., Outbreak investigation of an emerging disease (equine morbillivirus), in Proc. of 8th ISVEE Conference, Paris: Epidem Sante Anim., 1997, 04.08.1–04.08.3.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Philbey, A. W., Kirkland, P. D., Ross, A. D. et al., An apparently new virus (familyParamyxoviridae) infectious for pigs, humans, and fruit bats, Emerg. Infect. Dis., 1998, 4: 269–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chant, K., Chan, R., Smith, M. et al., Probable human infection with a newly described virus in the familyParamyxoviridae, Emerg. Infect. Dis., 1998, 4: 273–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chua, K. B., Bellini, W. J., Rota, P. A. et al., Nipah virus: A recently emergent deadly paramyxovirus, Science, 2000, 288: 1432–1435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nor, M. M., Gan, C., Ong, B., Nipah virus infection of pigs in Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysia: Ministry of Agriculture, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chua, K. B., Goh, K. J., Wong, K. T. et al., Fatal encephalitis due to Nipah virus among pig-farmers in Malaysia, Lancet, 1999, 354(9186): 1257–1259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Palon, N. I., Leo, Y. S., Zaki, S. R. et al., Outbreak of Nipah virus infection among abattoir workers in Singapore, Lancet, 1999, 354(9186): 1253–1256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang, L. F., Brain, H. H., Meng, Y. et al., Molecular biology of Hendra and Nipah viruses, Microbes and Infection, 2001, 3: 279–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rogers, R. J., Douglas, I. C., Baldock, F. C. et al., Investigation of a second focus of equine morbillivirus infection in coastal Queensland, Aust. Vet. J., 1996, 74: 243–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Murray, K., Rogers, R., Selvey, L., A novel morbillivirus pneumonia of horses and its transmission to humans, Emerg Infect Dis., 1995, 1: 31–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ward, M. P., Black, P. E., Childs, A. J., Negative findings from serological studies of equine morbillivirus in the Queensland horse population, Aust. Vet. J., 1996, 74: 241–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Young, P. L., Halpin, K., Selleck, P. W., Serologic evidence for the presence in Pteropus bats of a paramyxovirus related to equine morbillivirus, Emerg Infect Dis., 1996, 2: 239–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Halpin, K., Young, P., Field, H. et al., Isolation of Hendra virus from pteropid bats: a natural reservoir of Hendra virus, J. Gen. Virol., 2000, 81: 1927–1932.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Field, H. E., Young, P. L., Yob, J. M. et al., The natural history of Hendra and Nipah viruses, Microbes and Infection, 2001, 3: 307–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Field, H., Barratt, P., Hughes, R. et al., A fatal case of Hendra virus infection in a horse in north Queensland: clinical and epidemiological features, Aust. Vet. J., 2000, 78: 279–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Young, P., Halpin, K., Field, H. et al., Finding the wildlife reservoir of equine morbillivirus, in Recent Advances in Microbiology (ed. Asche, V.), Vol. 5., Australian Society of Microbiology, 1997.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Williamson, M., Hooper, P., Selleck, P. et al., The effect of Hendra virus on pregnancy in fruit bats and guinea pigs, J. Comp. Path., 2000, 12: 201–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Westbury, H. A., Hooper, P. T., Selleck, P. W. et al., Equine morbillivirus pneumonia: Susceptibility of laboratory animals to the virus, Aust. Vet. J., 1995, 72: 278–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Enerink, M., New virus fingered in Malaysian Epidemic, Science, 1999, 284: 407–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yob, J. M., Field, H., Rashdi, A. M. et al., Nipah virus infection in bats (order Chiroptera) in peninsular Malaysia, Emerg. Infect. Dis., 2001, 7: 439–441.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chua, K. B., Koh, C. L., Hooi, P. S. et al., Isolation of Nipah virus from Malaysian Island flying-foxes, Microbes and Infection, 2002, 4: 145–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Chua, K. B., Wang, L. F., Lam, S. K. et al., Tioman virus, a novel paramyxovirus isolated from fruit bats in Malaysia, Virology, 2001, 283: 215–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hooper, P. T., Lunt, R. A., Gould, A. R. et al., A new lyssavirus-the first endemic rabies-related virus recognized in Australia, Bull. Inst. Pasteur, 1997, 95: 209–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    King, A., Davies, P., Lawrie, A., The rabies viruses of bats, Vet Microbiol., 1990, 23: 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shope, R. E., Rabies-related viruses, Yale J. Biol. Med., 1982, 55: 271–275.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sulkin, S. E., Allen, R., Virus Infections in Bats, in Monograph Virol (ed. Melnick, J. L.), Vol. 8, Basel: S. Karger, 1974.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Karabatsos, N., Characterization of viruses isolated from bats, Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 1969, 18: 803–810.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gard, G., Compans, R. W., Structure and cytopathic effects of Nelson Bay Virus, J. Virol., 1970, 6: 100–106.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Downs, W. G., Anderson, C. R., Spence, L. et al., Tacaribe virus, a new agent isolated from Artibeus bats and mosquitoes in Trinidad, West Indies, Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 1963, 12: 640–646.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tandler, B., Cytomegalovirus in the principal submandibular gland of the little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus, J. Comp. Path., 1996, 114: 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hall, L., Identification, distribution and taxonomy of Australian flying-foxes (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae), Aust. Mammology, 1987, 10: 75–79.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mickleburg, S., Hutson, A., Racey, P., Old World Fruit Bats: an action plan for their conservation, Switzerland Gland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), 1992.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Corbett, G., Hill, J., A World List of Mammalian Species, 3rd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, 40.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Nowak, R., Walker’s Bats of the World, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, 190.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Daniel, M., First report of an Australian fruit bat (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae) reaching New Zealand, NZ J Zool, 1975, 2: 227–231.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Gould, A. R., Comparison of the deduced matrix and fusion protein sequences of equine morbillivirus with cognate genes of theParamyxoviridae, Virol. Res., 1996, 43: 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Daszak, P., Cunningham, A. A., Hyatt, A. D., Emerging infection diseases of wildlife-Threats to biodiversity and human health, Science, 2000, 287: 443–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Zhang, S. Y., Eating Fulvous Fruit Bat at Yilingyan, Chinese National Geography (in Chinese), 2000, 2: 78–80.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wang, Y. X., A Complete Checklist of Mammal Species and Subspecies in China-A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (in Chinese), Beijing: China Forestry Publishing House, 2003, 27–29.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Altringham, J. D., Bats-Biology and Behaviour, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Huang, W. L., Zhang, H. L., Gong, H. Q. et al., Isolation of Japanese encephalitis virus from bat sera in Yunnan Province (in Chinese), Chinese Journal of Vector Biology and Control, 2000, 11: 48–50.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guangle Jia
    • 1
  • Ying Zhang
    • 2
  • Tinghe Wu
    • 1
  • Shuyi Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yinan Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Shanxi Agricultural UniversityTaiguChina

Personalised recommendations