Sequences of Previously Unknown Rhabdoviruses Detected in Bat Samples from the Republic of the Congo

Kenneth N. Cameron, Fabien R. Niama, Ben Hayes, Placide Mbala, Sarah H. Olson, Jean Michel Takuo, Alain Ondzie, Joseph Le Doux Diffo, Brett R. Smith, Jasmine Pante, Anne Laudisoit, Matthew Lebreton, Ubald Tamufe, Maria Makuwa, Damien O. Joly, Tracey Goldstein, Jean J. Muyembe Tamfum, Romain Bagamboula Mpassi, Christian E. Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The family Rhabdoviridae contains diverse viruses, including vector-borne and nonvector-borne viruses, some that are human pathogens, including rabies virus and also nonpathogenic viruses. Bats, which are a known reservoir of viruses with zoonotic potential including coronaviruses, also carry multiple rhabdoviruses such as but not limited to lyssaviruses. We collected samples from 193 insectivorous and frugivorous bats in the Republic of the Congo and tested them for rhabdovirus RNA. Four samples were found positive for viral RNA representing sequences of four different, not previously described rhabdoviruses. Although phylogenetic and taxonomic placement of the novel sequences is uncertain, similarities with previously detected rhabdovirus sequences in bats suggest that these could represent vertebrate viruses. Considering the pathogenic risks some rhabdoviruses pose for humans, these results highlight the need for more research and surveillance regarding rhabdoviruses and bats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-555
Number of pages4
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • bat
  • insect-related
  • Republic of the Congo
  • rhabdovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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