Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


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Published online May 3, 2024

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2024) 48:17

Molecular identification of fruit bats, natural host of Nipah virus in Bangladesh, based on DNA barcode

Md. Maharub Hossain Fahim1† , Walid Hassan1 , Afia Afsin1 , Md. Mahfuzur Rahman2 , Md. Tanvir Rahman3 , Sang Jin Lim4* , Yeonsu Oh5 , Yung Chul Park4 , Hossain Md. Faruquee1† and Md. Mafizur Rahman1*

1Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Biological Science, Islamic University, Kushtia 7100, Bangladesh
2International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh
3Department of Microbiology and Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh
4College of Forest & Environmental Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
5College of Veterinary Medicine & Institute of Veterinary Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Md. Mafizur Rahman

Sang Jin Lim

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Received: January 3, 2024; Revised: March 3, 2024; Accepted: March 4, 2024

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The publisher of this article is The Ecological Society of Korea in collaboration with The Korean Society of Limnology


Background: Fruit bats are natural carriers of Nipah virus (NiV). The primary objective of this study is to identify potential reservoir species in a selected geographic regions. It is necessary to determine an accurate species identification of the associated reservoir bat species distributed in a specific region.
Results: In this study, we collected 20 different bat specimens from the NiV-prone area of the Kushtia district. Among these, 14 were tissue samples (BT-1–14) and six were fecal samples (BF-1–6). We used the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b, one of the most abundant and frequently used genetic markers, for polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing. Out of the 20 samples, 12 tissue samples and 2 fecal samples were successfully amplified and sequenced. However, two tissue samples and four fecal samples yielded chimeric sequences, rendering them unsuitable for annotation. The sequences of the successfully amplified samples were compared to those deposited in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database using basic local alignment search tool to identify the bat specimen collected. The study identified six different bat species using both morphological and genetic data, which may carriers of the NiV.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that additional research should be conducted to gather more information on fruit bats from different localities across the country. The study contributes to the establishment of appropriate measures for NiV carrying disease control and management.

Keywords: cytochrome b, ecology, Nipah virus, Pteropus, zoonotic

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220