Journal article

Infectious KoRV-related retroviruses circulating in Australian bats

Joshua A Hayward, Mary Tachedjian, Claudia Kohl, Adam Johnson, Megan Dearnley, Brianna Jesaveluk, Christine Langer, Philip D Solymosi, Georg Hille, Andreas Nitsche, Cecilia A Sanchez, Adam Werner, Dimitri Kontos, Gary Crameri, Glenn A Marsh, Michelle L Baker, Pantelis Poumbourios, Heidi E Drummer, Edward C Holmes, Lin-Fa Wang Show all



Bats are reservoirs of emerging viruses that are highly pathogenic to other mammals, including humans. Despite the diversity and abundance of bat viruses, to date they have not been shown to harbor exogenous retroviruses. Here we report the discovery and characterization of a group of koala retrovirus-related (KoRV-related) gammaretroviruses in Australian and Asian bats. These include the Hervey pteropid gammaretrovirus (HPG), identified in the scat of the Australian black flying fox (Pteropus alecto), which is the first reproduction-competent retrovirus found in bats. HPG is a close relative of KoRV and the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV), with virion morphology and Mn2+-dependent virion-a..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Singapore National Research Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the NIH AIDS Research and Reference Reagent program for providing HeLa cells, Damian Purcell for providing NIH 3T3 cells, and Richard Axel for providing HEK 293T cells. We also thank Amy Burroughs, Bronwyn Clayton, Huajun Zhang, Jennifer Barr, Johanna Dups, Kate Baker, Peng Zhou, Shawn Todd, Hugh Spencer, and Andreas Kurth for their roles in the collection of bat samples; Vicky Boyd for her assistance with the serologic analysis; and Reuben Klein for extracting viral nucleic acids from bat samples. We wish to acknowledge Microscopy Australia and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy for funding the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) electron microscopy capability used in this study, and the Pathology and Pathogenesis team at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (CSIRO) for their technical assistance. We also gratefully acknowledge the contribution to this work of the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program received by the Burnet Institute. This work was supported by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Grant GNT1121077 (to G.T., M.L.B., and G.A.M.) and NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship GNT1117748 (to G.T.). J.A.H. was funded by NHMRC Grant GNT1121077. H.E.D. is supported by NHMRC Grants GNT1041897 and GNT1146082. E.C.H. is supported by the Australian Research Council's Australian Laureate Fellowship FL170100022. L-F.W. is funded by Singapore National Research Foundation Grants NRF2012NRF-CRP001-056 and NRF2016NRF-NSFC002-013.