Bacterial Communities in Fecal Samples of Myotis chiloensis from Southern, Chile

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Kattia Núñez-Montero; Andrés Santos; Damián Quezada-Solís; Jaime Martínez-Urtaza; Fulgencio Lisón & Leticia Barrientos


The insectivorous bat Myotis chiloensis is endemic of South America. Even though potentially pathogenic bacterial species of Mycoplasma have been reported from this species, there are no further studies regarding the bacterial communities they harbor. This may provide important insights for the better understanding of its ecology, diet and implications in cross-species pathogens transmission. Here we report a first survey on bacterial communities of M. chiloensis based on metagenomic analysis of fecal samples. We found that taxonomic profile is dominated by Proteobacteria (23.7 to 57.7 %) and Firmicutes (11.8 to 61.6 %), which main families are represented by Burkholderiaceae- Enterobacteriaceae and Veillonellaceae-Bacillaceae, respectively. Phyla Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Planctomycetes and Acidobacteria were also present with abundance above 1 % of the total reads. Variations among individuals could be observed at genus level and no significant differences were found between sex groups regarding taxonomic profiles and diversity. Potentially pathogenic species were also detected in all the samples, including Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium perfringens. Our results highlight the significance M. chiloensis as a reservoir of pathogenic bacteria and its microbiota as an interesting ecological model due to its wide distribution. Further metagenomic studies are necessary for a better understanding of M. chiloensis diet and its host-symbiont relationships.

KEY WORDS: Chiroptera; Guano; Metagenomics; Microbiota; Pathogenic bacteria.

How to cite this article

NÚÑEZ-MONTERO, K.; SANTOS, A.; QUEZADA-SOLÍS, D.; MARTÍNEZ-URTAZA, J.; LISÓN, F. & BARRIENTOS, L. Bacterial communities in fecal samples of Myotis chiloensis from Southern, Chile. Int. J. Morphol., 39(1):57-63, 2021.