Scientists focus on bats for clues to prevent next epidemic

Scientists focus on bats for clues to prevent next epidemic

RIO DE JANEIRO: As night fell in Pedra Branca State Park in Rio de Janeiro, four Brazilian scientists turned on their flashlights to find their way through a narrow strip of mud through the street rain. The researchers were on a mission: capture the bats and help prevent the next global epidemic.
A few meters ahead, hidden in the dark, a bat made high back sucks as it pulled its wings into a thin nylon net that held it tight. One of the researchers removed the bat, which used its sharp teeth to cut the fingers of its glove.
The November night was part of a project to gather at the Brazilian state-run Feu Cruz Institute. the study Wildlife viruses – including bats, which many scientists believe are linked to the spread of Covid-19.
The goal now is to identify other viruses that can be highly contagious and deadly in humans, and use this information to devise plans to prevent people from ever becoming infected – the next possible Eliminate the global epidemic before it starts.
In a highly integrated world, the spread of a single threat threatens the entire world, as did the coronavirus. And the Brazilian team is the only one in many races around the world to minimize the risk of another epidemic in this century.
It is no coincidence that many disease scientists are focusing on bats, the only flying mammals in the world. Sons are considered the original or intermediate host for multiple viruses that have given rise to recent epidemics, including SARS, MERS, Ebola, Nipah virus, Honda virus and Marburg virus.
A 2019 the study The five most common mammalian viruses have been found – primates, rats, carnivores, unwanted and bats – bats have the most viruses in humans.
Bats are a diverse group, with more than 1,400 species swimming in every continent except Antarctica. But what they have in common are adaptations that allow humans and animals to carry deadly viruses while they themselves show minimal symptoms – meaning they are able to travel and Instead of trying to recover, they wallow in their sadness and thus, experience more failure.
“The secret is that bats have an extraordinary immune system, and this has to do with their ability to fly,” said Raina Plevert, an epidemiologist who studied bats at Montana State University.
Plutoite and other bats scientists believe that there are evolutionary signs that help bats recover from the stress of flying. When their metabolic rate increases sixteen times, they also provide additional protection against pathogens. Do
Energie Banerjee, a virologist at McMaster University in Canada, said it could help scientists understand more about the virus’s release from bats, as well as provide clues to future medical treatment strategies. ۔
“The growing destruction of homes around the world, and especially in biodiversity areas such as tropical forests, means that we are at a crossroads between wildlife and humans,” said Kara Brock, a pathologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Seeing high connectivity rates. ” .
In India, a national mission on biodiversity and human welfare is pending from 2018 and is likely to be launched next year. A key part of the project is to set up 25 virus surveillance sites across the country.
Different patches of different virus surveillance programs exist in many other countries, but the financial environment suffers from a political climate and a sense of urgency.
Scientists say an approach that sees bats as enemies – disrespecting them, throwing stones or trying to burn them in caves – will not help. The same region was attacked this spring, when villagers in the Indian state of Rajasthan identified bat colonies in abandoned forts and palaces and killed hundreds with batons and sticks.
Scientists say such tactics are likely to retaliate.
Vikram Misra, an expert at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, said: “Stress is a major factor disturbing the natural balance that bats carry with their viruses.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about bats. They’re natural and look a little alien, “said Hannah Kim Frank, a biologist at Talane University.” But bats are not aggressive – and attacking bats does not help control the disease. ” They also play an important role in the system: they eat insects like mosquitoes, scatter plants and seeds like plants.
“We really need pests in the forest to eat the pests, otherwise they will destroy the cotton, corn and pecan crops,” said Kirsten Lear, an environmentalist at Bullet Conservative International.
Frank said the best way to minimize the risk of the disease is to reduce contact between wild bats and people and livestock.
In Australia, the widespread destruction of winter flower auction trees that provide nectar for fruit bats. Locally called the “flying fox”.
There, bats spread the virus to horses, causing them to become infected. They were first identified in 1994 and were dubbed the Hendra virus, which is extremely deadly, affecting 60% of people and 75% of horses.

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