Virologica Sinica

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 87–95 | Cite as

Longitudinal Surveillance of Betacoronaviruses in Fruit Bats in Yunnan Province, China During 2009–2016

  • Yun Luo
  • Bei Li
  • Ren-Di Jiang
  • Bing-Jie Hu
  • Dong-Sheng Luo
  • Guang-Jian Zhu
  • Ben Hu
  • Hai-Zhou Liu
  • Yun-Zhi Zhang
  • Xing-Lou Yang
  • Zheng-Li Shi
Research Article


Previous studies indicated that fruit bats carry two betacoronaviruses, BatCoV HKU9 and BatCoV GCCDC1. To investigate the epidemiology and genetic diversity of these coronaviruses, we conducted a longitudinal surveillance in fruit bats in Yunnan province, China during 2009–2016. A total of 59 (10.63%) bat samples were positive for the two betacorona-viruses, 46 (8.29%) for HKU9 and 13 (2.34%) for GCCDC1, or closely related viruses. We identified a novel HKU9 strain, tentatively designated as BatCoV HKU9-2202, by sequencing the full-length genome. The BatCoV HKU9-2202 shared 83% nucleotide identity with other BatCoV HKU9 stains based on whole genome sequences. The most divergent region is in the spike protein, which only shares 68% amino acid identity with BatCoV HKU9. Quantitative PCR revealed that the intestine was the primary infection organ of BatCoV HKU9 and GCCDC1, but some HKU9 was also detected in the heart, kidney, and lung tissues of bats. This study highlights the importance of virus surveillance in natural reservoirs and emphasizes the need for preparedness against the potential spill-over of these viruses to local residents living near bat caves.


Betacoronavirus Surveillance Genetic diversity 



We thank Xing-Yi Ge, Shi-Yue Li, and Hui-Min Huang for assistance in bat sampling. This work was jointly supported by the China Natural Science Foundation (81290341 and 31621061 to ZLS), United States Agency for International Development Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT project (AID-OAA-A-14-00102), and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (Award Number R01AI110964) to ZLS.

Author Contributions

ZLS and XLY designed and coordinated this study. RDJ, BJH, DSL, YZZ, and GJZ collected samples. YL, BL, XLY performed most of the experiments. ZLS, XLY, YL, BH, and HZL analyzed the data. YL, XLY, and ZLS drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal and Human Rights Statement

This study was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

12250_2018_17_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (288 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 289 kb)


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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens and Biosafety, Wuhan Institute of VirologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.EcoHealth AllianceNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Yunnan Provincial Key Laboratory for Zoonosis Control and PreventionYunnan Institute of Endemic Diseases Control and PreventionDaliChina
  4. 4.School of Public HealthDali UniversityDaliChina
  5. 5.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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