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serology, Yunnan, 2015


(Nov.2017)  Serological Evidence of Bat SARS-Related Coronavirus Infection
in Humans, China

[my selection from that paper:]

 to date, no evidence of direct transmission of SARSr-CoVs from bats
to people has been reported.
 In October 2015, we collected serum samples from 218 residents in four villages
in Jinning County, Yunnan  located 1.16.0 km from two caves (Yanzi and Shitou).
 85.3% farmers and 8.7% students. Most (81.2%) kept or owned livestock or pets,
and the majority (97.2%) had a history of exposure to or contact with livestock
or wild animals. Importantly, 20 (9.1%) participants witnessed bats flying close
to their houses,
 As a control, we also collected 240 serum samples from random blood donors
in 2015 in Wuhan,  where inhabitants have a much lower
likelihood of contact with bats due to its urban setting.

Our study provides the first serological evidence of
likely human infection by bat SARSr-CoVs or, potentially,
related viruses. The lack of prior exposure to SARS
patients by the people surveyed, their lack of prior travel to
areas heavily affected by SARS during the outbreak, and
the rapid decline of detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV in
recovered patients within 23 years after infection strongly
suggests that positive serology obtained in this study is not
due to prior infection with SARS-CoV (Wu et al. 2007).
The 2.7% seropositivity for the high risk group of residents
living in close proximity to bat colonies suggests that
spillover is a relatively rare event, however this depends on
how long antibodies persist in people, since other indi-
viduals may have been exposed and antibodies waned.
 From our previous studies of bat SARSr-CoVs in
the two caves near these villages, we have found geneti-
cally highly diverse bat SARSr-CoVs and evidence of
frequent coinfection of two or more different SARSr-CoVs
in the same bat (Ge et al. 2013).


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