Bats and Viruses: Introduction
Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar and Martin Schwemmle
from: Bats and Viruses: Current Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar and Martin Schwemmle). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 1-6.
Bats are flying mammals of the order Chiroptera. Second to rodents, they have extremely high species richness with more than 1300 species described so far. Owing to their lifestyle, bats possess several interesting characteristics. But all these characteristics do not eclipse one that has been frequently emphasised lately, their potential link with human diseases, and mainly those caused by zoonotic viruses. More than 200 viruses have been isolated from or detected in bats so far. These viruses belong to 27 different virus families, denoting an astonishing diversity and suggesting that their detection is not a serendipitous event. In this book, current knowledge about bats as hosts of viruses (suspected, accidental, or definite), bats as models for infection, and bat immunology is summarised and discussed. A collection of experts from all around the world provide information about the many viral families involved, or suspected to be involved, in human zoonotic diseases. All topics reviewed here reflect current knowledge, which allows us to fully appreciate the extent and complexity of the relationship between bats and viruses. We can make use of all these observations to deepen our understanding of this ecological interaction and how we can prevent (or be prepared for) viral emergence read more ...