Coronavirus: Other than COVID, bats host a number of other virulent zoonotic (animals-to-humans) viruses too

Bats act as a natural reservoir for many viruses, including coronaviruses. According to WHO, viruses caused by bats have caused epidemics since 2002.

One of the main reasons bats can harbor certain viruses is that their immune systems are able to fight off invading viruses for several months, the researchers say. They can actively remove the virus for a long time.

Another explanation is that the new coronavirus found in December 2019 in Wuhan is a recombination of two unknown coronaviruses in a bat that may have evolved into a snake, pangolin or civet. . The reason for the emergence of the infection from China is that these animals are considered a delicacy in this place and they are also a source of traditional medicine.

Bats harbor the most virulent zoonotic viruses even when compared to birds while host groups are more closely related to humans – in particular, according to a research study. are primates – contain less virulent but more transmissible viruses.

In bats, the only mammal that can fly, the ability to adapt to flight is thought to be the reason why they are so resistant to viral infections. “In bats, flight adaptation is related to virus tolerance, which previous research has shown can select for high-velocity viruses that can manifests as virulence when present in less tolerant hosts such as humans,” the study said.

Read: Cold-like symptoms could be a sign of Omicrons in the body

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