Study investigates microbial composition in bat lung tissue

Announcing a new article publication for Zoonoses journal. Bats are the hosts of multiple pathogens, but the microbial composition of their lung tissues remains unknown. This study investigates the species compositions and genera of important respiratory tract pathogenic bacteria in bat lung tissue.

A microbiota study was conducted in Hebei, Henan and Guizhou provinces in China. Lung tissues were collected from 104 healthy bats. The lung tissue was subjected to 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene sequencing.

7,708,734 high-quality bacterial sequences were obtained from 104 healthy bats. Overall, the annotations indicated 55 phyla, 73 classes, 164 orders, 322 families and 953 genera. The lung microbiota was highly polymorphic and variable among bats from Hebei, Henan and Guizhou. The genetic characteristics of the main recognized respiratory pathogens in the samples were analyzed.

The findings indicate that the lungs of bats carry numerous bacteria with pathogenic importance. Pathogens disseminate through the respiratory tract in bats and are widely distributed among bats. Because bats prefer to inhabit areas placing them in close contact with humans, such as eaves and old buildings, further investigations are warranted to identify bat microbiota and their potential effects on humans.

Journal reference:

Zhao, N., et al. (2022) Microbial Communities in the Lungs of Bats in China. Zoonoses.


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