Since the first description of adenoviruses in bats in 2006, a number of micro- and megabat species in Europe, Africa, and Asia have been shown to carry a wide diversity of adenoviruses. Here, we report on the evolutionary, biological, and structural characterization of a novel bat adenovirus (BtAdV) recovered from a Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) in Kentucky, USA, which is the first adenovirus isolated from North American bats. This virus (BtAdV 250-A) exhibits a close phylogenetic relationship with Canine mastadenovirus A (CAdV A), as previously observed with other BtAdVs. To further investigate the relationships between BtAdVs and CAdVs, we conducted mass spectrometric analysis and single-particle cryo-electron microscopy reconstructions of the BtAdV 250-A capsid and also analyzed the in vitro host ranges of both viruses. Our results demonstrate that BtAdV 250-A represents a new mastadenovirus species that, in contrast to CAdV, has a unique capsid morphology that contains more prominent extensions of protein IX and can replicate efficiently in a phylogenetically diverse range of species. These findings, in addition to the recognition that both the genetic diversity of BtAdVs and the number of different bat species from disparate geographic regions infected with BtAdVs appears to be extensive, tentatively suggest that bats may have served as a potential reservoir for the cross-species transfer of adenoviruses to other hosts, as theorized for CAdV.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science