So, Are Bats Really To Blame For Coronavirus? Find Out 

New Delhi: Coronaviruses (CoVs) have been detected among two species of bats in the country by researchers of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said a report published in Hindustan Times (HT).

The origin of many viruses in the last two decades that have ultimately affected humans can be traced to bats. They have been recognised as the natural reservoirs of a variety of pathogenic viruses such as Rabies, Hendra, Marburg, Nipah, and Ebola. Bats are known to harbour CoVs and serve as their reservoirs, elaborated the report.

In India, an association of Pteropus medius bats led to the Nipah virus disease outbreak in Kerala a couple of years ago. It is suspected that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19), can also be traced to bats.

India has a diverse population of bats. Around 117 species of bats have been recorded in the country, with around 100 sub-species coming under 39 genera belonging to eight families of the mammal.

“To assess the presence of CoVs in bats, we performed identification and characterisation of bat CoV (BtCoV) in P. medius and Rousettus species from representative states in India collected during 2018 and 2019,” said the HT report quoting researchers in the paper published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research on April 13.


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