Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 38047395
Link to DOI – 10.1080/22221751.2023.2290842
Emerg Microbes Infect 2023 Dec; (): 2290842
Rodents represent over 40% of known mammal species and are found in various terrestrial habitats. They are significant reservoirs for zoonotic viruses, including harmful pathogens such as arenaviruses and hantaviruses, yet knowledge of their hosts and distributions is limited. Therefore, characterizing the virome profile in these animals is invaluable for outbreak preparedness, especially in potential hotspots of mammal diversity. This study included 681 organs from 124 rodents and one Chinese tree shrew collected from Yunnan Province, China, during 2020-2021. Metagenomic analysis revealed unique features of mammalian viruses in rodent organs across habitats with varying human disturbances. R. tanezumi in locations with high anthropogenic disturbance exhibited the highest mammal viral diversity, with spleen and lung samples showing the highest diversities for these viruses at the organ level. Mammal viral diversity for both commensal and non-commensal rats was identified to positively correlate with landscape disturbance. Some virus families were associated with particular organs or host species, suggesting tropism for these pathogens. Notably, known and novel viral species that are likely to infect humans were identified. R. tanezumi was identified as a reservoir and carrier for various zoonotic viruses, including porcine bocavirus, hantavirus, cardiovirus, and lyssavirus. These findings highlight the influence of rodent community composition and anthropogenic activities on diverse virome profiles, with R. tanezumi as an important reservoir for zoonotic viruses.