Maintenance of a newly identified coronavirus in Australian Bats

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​​Project Summary

To investigate the ecology of a benign Group 1 CoV which endemically infects Australian populations of M. australis and M. schreibersii. We will determine if a high level of infection is maintained by the persistence of infection, evolution of the virus, or possibly by another method, i.e. population dynamics. It has been shown that this coronavirus has the potential to infect species other than its putative natural reservoir host and could be used as a model for coronaviruses of greater concern to public health, i.e. SARS and SARS-like coronaviruses.

Objectives

1. Identify the period of infection of coronaviruses in bats.

2. Identify any molecular evolution of coronaviruses in bats.

3. Identify the rate of infection of coronaviruses in bats.

4. Identify any incidental infection of other species.