Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jul;19(3):531-45.

Bats: important reservoir hosts of emerging viruses.

Author information

  • 1Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA. calisher@cybercell.net

Abstract

Bats (order Chiroptera, suborders Megachiroptera ["flying foxes"] 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; we are doing too little in terms of bat conservation; and there remain a multitude of questions regarding the role of bats in disease emergence.

PMID:
16847084
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1539106
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk