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Bats: Important reservoir hosts of emerging viruses

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Calisher, C.H., Childs, J.E., Field, H., Holmes, K.V. and Schountz, T. (2006) Bats: Important reservoir hosts of emerging viruses. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 19 (3). pp. 531-545.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CMR.00017-06

Organisation URL: http://cmr.asm.org/


Bats (order Chiroptera, suborders Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera) are abundant, diverse, and geographically widespread. These mammals provide us with resources, but their importance is minimized and many of their populations and species are at risk, even threatened or endangered. Some of their characteristics (food choices, colonial or solitary nature, population structure, ability to fly, seasonal migration and daily movement patterns, torpor and hibernation, life span, roosting behaviors, ability to echolocate, virus susceptibility) make them exquisitely suitable hosts of viruses and other disease agents. Bats of certain species are well recognized as being capable of transmitting rabies virus, but recent observations of outbreaks and epidemics of newly recognized human and livestock diseases caused by viruses transmitted by various megachiropteran and microchiropteran bats have drawn attention anew to these remarkable mammals. This paper summarizes information regarding chiropteran characteristics and information regarding 66 viruses that have been isolated from bats. From these summaries, it is clear that we do not know enough about bat biology, that we are doing too little in terms of bat conservation, and that there remain a multitude of questions regarding the role of bats in disease emergence.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:Open access pdf attached
Keywords:Bats; Chiroptera; Megachiroptera; Microchiroptera; virus susceptibility; human and livestock diseases.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Mammals
Veterinary medicine > Diseases of special classes of animals
Live Archive:28 Jan 2009 23:42
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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