Leptospira and paramyxovirus infection dynamics in a bat maternity enlightens pathogen maintenance in wildlife

Abstract : Bats are reservoirs for several zoonotic pathogens of medical importance; however, infection dynamics of pathogens in wild bat populations remain poorly understood. Here, we examine the influence of host crowding and population age structure on pathogen transmission and diversity in bat populations. Focus-ing on two pathogen taxa of medical importance, Leptospira bacteria and paramyxoviruses, we monitored host population and pathogen shedding dynamics within a maternity colony of the tropical bat species Mormopterus francoismoutoui, endemic to Réunion Island. Our data reveal astonishingly similar infection dynamics for Leptospira and paramyxoviruses, with infection peaks during late pregnancy and 2 months after the initial birth pulse. Furthermore, although co-infection occurs frequently during the peaks of transmission, the patterns do not suggest any interaction between the two pathogens. Partial sequencing reveals a unique bat-specific Leptospira strain contrasting with the co-circulation of four separate paramyxovirus lineages along the whole breeding period. Patterns of infection highlight the importance of host crowding in pathogen transmission and suggest that most bats developed immune response and stop excreting pathogens. Our results support that bat maternity colonies may represent hot spots of transmission for bacterial and viral infectious agents, and highlight how seasonality can be an important determinant of host–parasite interactions and disease emergence.
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Environmental Microbiology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 17 (11), pp.4280-4289. 〈10.1111/1462-2920.12766〉
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Muriel Dietrich, David A Wilkinson, Aude Benlali, Erwan Lagadec, Beza Ramasindrazana, et al.. Leptospira and paramyxovirus infection dynamics in a bat maternity enlightens pathogen maintenance in wildlife. Environmental Microbiology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, 17 (11), pp.4280-4289. 〈10.1111/1462-2920.12766〉. 〈hal-01145007〉

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