Program Sponsored by: Ecohealth Alliance


Bat-borne virus diversity, spillover and emergence

Abstract: Most viral pathogens in humans have animal origins and arose through cross-species transmission. Over the past 50 years, several viruses, including Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2, have been linked back to various bat species. Despite decades of research into bats and the pathogens they carry, the fields of bat virus ecology and molecular biology are still nascent, with many questions largely unexplored, thus hindering our ability to anticipate and prepare for the next viral outbreak. In this Review, we discuss the latest advancements and understanding of bat-borne viruses, reflecting on current knowledge gaps and outlining the potential routes for future research as well as for outbreak response and prevention efforts.

Letko, M., Seifert, S.N., Olival, K.J. et al. Bat-borne virus diversity, spillover and emergence. Nat Rev Microbiol (2020).