Author ORCID Identifier

Hernandez-Canchola, Giovani: 0000-0002-5874-6919
Colunga-Salas, Pablo: 0000-0002-1355-0939

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The novelSARS-CoV-2coronavirus has attracted attention due to the high number of human cases around the world. It has been proposed that this virus originated in bats, possibly transmitted to humans by an intermediate host, making bats a group of great interest during this outbreak. Almost 10% of the world's bat species inhabit Mexico, and 14 previous novel CoVs have been recorded in Mexican bats. However, the phylogenetic relationships between these viruses and the novel coronavirus are unknown. The aim of this communication was therefore to describe the phylogenetic relationships between Mexican bat-CoVs andSARS-CoV-2. We showed that Mexican bat-CoVs sequences are grouped into two genera,AlphacoronavirusandBetacoronavirus, and the new coronavirus is an independent clade withinBetacoronavirus. Due to the diversity of CoVs in Mexican bats, the propensity of CoVs to shift hosts, the invasion mechanisms described for this new virus, and previous reports of animals infected bySARS-CoV-2, the risk of possible infection from humans to Mexican bats should not be discarded and warrants further analyses. To avoid future zoonotic infectious diseases and to limit persecution of bats, we urge researchers and the general population to take extreme precautions and avoid manipulation of bats during the current and future similar outbreaks.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Transboundary And Emerging Diseases

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