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Volume 13, Number 9—September 2007

Dispatch

Coronavirus Antibodies in African Bat Species

Marcel A. Müller*Comments to Author , Janusz T. Paweska†, Patricia A. Leman†, Christian Drosten‡, Klaus Grywna‡, Alan Kemp†, Leo Braack§, Karen Sonnenberg¶, Matthias Niedrig*, and Robert Swanepoel†
Author affiliations: *Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany; †National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham, Republic of South Africa; ‡Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany; §Conservation International, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa; ¶EUROIMMUN AG, Lübeck, Germany;

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Table

Antibody to SARS-CoV in bat sera collected in 1986–1999 at 4 locations in central and southern Africa*

ELISA: positive/tested (%)†
WB:
positive/
tested‡ IIFT:
positive/
tested‡
Limpopo
Province,
SA Mpumalanga
Province,
SA Oriental
Province,
DRC Bandundu
Province,
DRC Total
Fruit bats
Casinycteris argynnis 0/3 0/3
Eidolon helvum 0/6 0/6
Epomophorus gambianus 0/4 0/6 0/10
Epomophorus wahlbergi 0/2 0/2
Epomops franqueti 0/5 0/5
Hypsignathus monstrosus 1/11
(9.1) 1/11 
(9.1) 1/1 0/1
Lyssonycteris angolensis 1/16 
(6.3) 0/2 1/18 
(5.6) 1/1 0/1
Myonycteris torquata 1/7 
(14.3) 1/7 
(14.3)
Rousettus aegyptiacus
11/29 (37.9)

17/142 
(12.0)

28/171 
(16.4)
26/26
7/26
Insect bats
Chaerephon pumila 0/35 0/18 0/1 0/54
Hipposideros caffer 0/5 0/9 0/15
Hipposideros commersoni 0/16 0/16
Miniopterus inflatus 1/34 
(2.9) 1/34 
(2.9)
Miniopterus schreibersi 0/1 0/1
Mops condylurus 3/19 
(15.8) 11/96 
(11.5) 14/115 
(12.2) 8/9 5/9
Mops midas 0/15 0/15
Myotis bocagei 0/1 0/1
Nycteris argae 0/1 0/1
N. thebaica 0/6 0/6
Pipistrellus capensis 0/1 0/1
Rhinolophus darlingi 0/1 0/1
Rhinolophus landeri 0/2 0/2
Rhinolophus fumigatus 1/204 
(0.5) 1/204 
(0.5)
Scotophilus borbonicus 0/1 0/1
S. dinganii 0/5 0/5
Taphozous mauritianus
0/1



0/1


Totals 14/128 (10.9) 11/120 
(9.2) 20/422 (4.7) 2/35 
(5.7) 47/705 
(6.7) 36/37 12/37

*SARS-CoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome–associated coronavirus; SA, South Africa; DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo; WB, Western blot; IIFT, indirect immunofluorescence test.
†Serum specimens were screened for antibody by modification of a commercially available ELISA kit. Titers ranged from 1:50 to 1:800.
‡Confirmatory tests were performed by 2 WB analyses and IIFT when sufficient sample was available.

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