Udayavni Special

Scientists discover six new viruses in bats


PTI, Apr 15, 2020, 4:04 PM IST

Washington: Scientists have discovered six new coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar the first time these viruses have been found anywhere in the world.

The findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, will help understand the diversity of coronaviruses in bats and inform global efforts to detect, prevent and respond to infectious diseases that may threaten public health, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the researchers from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in the US, studies will evaluate the potential for transmission across species to better understand the risks to human health.

They said the newly discovered virus are not closely related to coronaviruses Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS CoV-1), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or SARS-CoV-2.

“Viral pandemics remind us how closely human health is connected to the health of wildlife and the environment,” said Marc Valitutto, former wildlife veterinarian with the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program, and lead author of the study.

“Worldwide, humans are interacting with wildlife with increasing frequency, so the more we understand about these viruses in animals –what allows them to mutate and how they spread to other species — the better we can reduce their pandemic potential,” Valitutto said.

Researchers detected these new viruses while conducting surveillance of animals and people to better understand the circumstances for disease spillover.

The team focused their research on sites in Myanmar where humans are more likely to come into close contact with local wildlife due to changes in land use and development.

From May 2016 to August 2018, they collected more than 750 saliva and faecal samples from bats in these areas.

Experts estimate that thousands of coronaviruses many of which have yet to be discovered are present in bats.

Researchers tested and compared the samples to known coronaviruses and identified six new coronaviruses for the first time.

The team also detected a coronavirus that had been found elsewhere in Southeast Asia, but never before in Myanmar. Coronaviruses have caused widespread disease in humans, including SARS CoV-1, MERS and most recently the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The researchers said these findings underscore the importance of surveillance for zoonotic diseases as they occur in wildlife.

The results will guide future surveillance of bat populations to better detect potential viral threats to public health, they said.

“Many coronaviruses may not pose a risk to people, but when we identify these diseases early on in animals, at the source, we have a valuable opportunity to investigate the potential threat,” said Suzan Murray, director of the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program and co-author of the study.

“Vigilant surveillance, research and education are the best tools we have to prevent pandemics before they occur,” Murray said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Agri minister Tomar tells farmer unions that Centre committed to talks at fifth round of meeting

Sandalwood drug case: Court permits CCB sleuths to collect hair samples of accused

Covaxin a 2-dose anti-coronavirus vaccine, Anil Vij got only 1st dose: Union health ministry

Many of the BJP people are associated with Rajinikanth now: Dinesh Gundu Rao

Union ministers meet farmers’ groups to break deadlock over agri laws

Vaccines will be no magic bullet for Covid-19 crisis, says WHO

India’s total active Covid-19 cases lowest in 136 days: Health ministry



Related Articles More

Mega-telescope in Australia is creating a ‘Google map’ of the Universe: All you need to know

Chinese scientists make world’s first light-based quantum computer: Report

Pixxel signs pact with NSIL to launch India’s first private remote-sensing satellite

Facebook to remove false COVID-19 vaccines’ claims on its platforms

YouTube to warn Android users before they post offensive comments

MUST WATCH

Karnataka bandh over Maratha board | Udayavani

M’luru boat tragedy: Search operation still on for Ansar’s body

Deer falls into well, rescued

Without sulking from his illness, this young man changed his life through agriculture

State government must immediately bring in anti-cow slaughter law: Sri Vishwa Prasanna Tirtha Swamiji

Latest Additions

Agri minister Tomar tells farmer unions that Centre committed to talks at fifth round of meeting

GHMC polls: BSY congratulates Telangana BJP workers

Sandalwood drug case: Court permits CCB sleuths to collect hair samples of accused

WHO chief volunteers to take COVID-19 vaccine on camera

If JDS had made alliance with BJP, I would still be the CM of K’taka: HDK

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.