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Bats found in Switzerland host viruses that can jump to other animals, including humans: Research | Weather Channel-Weather Channel Articles




Bats in flight (A. Prasap / BCCL Chennai)

Bats in flight.

(A. Platap / BCCL Chennai)

Researchers have found that Swiss bats carry viruses from 39 different virus families, some of which can jump to other animals, including humans, to cause disease.

By monitoring the viruses lurking in bats around the world, we can improve our understanding and detection of viruses that pose a risk to humans and better prepare the world for another such pandemic.

Previous studies have investigated viruses carried by bats in several countries, but none have focused on Switzerland.

Researchers at the University of Zurich have investigated the virus carried by more than 7,000 bats in Switzerland. These bats belonged to 18 species of stationary and mobile bats. Specifically, we analyzed the DNA and RNA sequences of the virus found in organs, feces, or fecal samples collected from bats.

Genome analysis reveals the existence of 39 different viral families, including 16 families previously found to be able to infect other vertebrates and to other animals and humans. I did.

Further analysis of this risky virus reveals that one of the bat colonies investigated contains a nearly complete genome of the virus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) -related coronavirus (CoV). became.

Although MERS-CoV-related viruses are not known to cause disease in humans, MERS-CoV was the cause of the 2012 epidemic.The results of these surveys are published in open access journals. PLOS ONE.

“Swiss-specific bat metagenomic analysis reveals viral genome diversity. Viral genomes from 39 different viral families were detected, 16 of which were coronavirus, adenovirus, herpesvirus, and rotavirus A. And H, known to infect vertebrates such as parvovirus. ” A team that includes Isabelle Hardmeier from the Institute of Virology in Varsity.

Researchers pointed out that genomic analysis of bat fecal samples could be a useful tool for continuous monitoring of bat-laden viruses, including MERS-CoV-related viruses. This type of follow-up potentially detects the accumulation of genetic mutations in viruses that can increase the risk of transmission to other animals, enabling early detection of viruses that pose a danger to humans.

There are few known examples of viruses that cause diseases that jump directly from bats to humans, but some viruses carried by bats jump to other animals and then infect humans. The virus behind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, has also been argued to be derived from a virus that infects another animal from a bat before it infects humans.


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