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Bat diversity and hantavirus infection in fragmented landscapes of south-eastern Brazil
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  • Gilberto Sabino-Santos,
  • Renata L. Muylaert,
  • Felipe Gonçalves Motta Maia,
  • Danilo Machado Melo,
  • Thallyta Maria Vieira,
  • Marcio Schafer Marques,
  • Kirk Douglas,
  • Douglas Goodin,
  • Colleen B. Jonsson,
  • Jorge Salazar-Bravo,
  • Luiz Tadeu Figueiredo
Gilberto Sabino-Santos
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Renata L. Muylaert
Massey University - Manawatu Campus
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Felipe Gonçalves Motta Maia
Universidade de Sao Paulo Campus de Ribeirao Preto
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Danilo Machado Melo
Universidade de Sao Paulo Campus de Ribeirao Preto
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Thallyta Maria Vieira
Universidade Estadual de Montes Claros
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Marcio Schafer Marques
Universidade de Sao Paulo Campus de Ribeirao Preto
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Kirk Douglas
The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill
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Douglas Goodin
Kansas State University
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Colleen B. Jonsson
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
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Jorge Salazar-Bravo
Texas Tech University Department of Biological Sciences
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Luiz Tadeu Figueiredo
Universidade de Sao Paulo Campus de Ribeirao Preto
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Hantaviruses are zoonotic viruses harboured and assumed to be transmitted to humans by rodents. Numerous species of hantaviruses have been identified in a broad range of vertebrate animals expanding the potential reservoirs and range of these viruses. To elucidate ecological patterns influencing hantavirus infection among bats and then the dynamics of hantavirus transmission in south-eastern Brazil, 275 bats were captured from February 2012 to April 2014, in distinct landscapes with varying forest amounts. We investigated potential ecological correlates related to hantavirus infection among 53 bats tested for serological evidence of infection. Areas with low intermediate values for species diversity and high dominance of species had higher infection counts than other areas, but the correlations were non-significant. With intermediate amounts of percentage of forest cover presented higher infection counts were observed. More studies should address differences in probabilities of hantavirus infection across species since they may have different ecological requirements. We report potential ecological correlates for hantavirus infection among bats and provide data on bat diversity and distribution across seven fragmented landscapes compositions in the Neotropics. We suggest that bats may play an underestimated role in the interspecies transmission dynamics of hantaviruses, especially within the context of fragmented landscapes.