Coronaviruses found in two Indian bat species: ICMR study


As the world grapples with coronavirus, researchers have found the presence of a special type of coronavirus — bat coronavirus (BtCoV) –in two bat species from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, based on a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

There is not any proof or analysis to assert that these bat coronaviruses could cause illness in people, stated Dr Pragya D Yadav, Scientist on the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and in addition the primary writer of study.

The study has been printed in the Indian Journal of Medical Research,

Twenty-five bats of Rousettus and Pteropus species from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu have been found constructive for BtCoV in Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

“These bat coronaviruses have no relation with SARS-CoV2 responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yadav stated, including that Pteropus bat species have been earlier found constructive for Nipah virus in 2018 and 2019 in Kerala.

“Bats are considered to be the natural reservoir for many viruses, of which some are potential human pathogens. In India, an association of Pteropus medius bats with the Nipah virus was reported in the past. It is suspected that the recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also has its association with bats,” the target of the study titled ‘Detection of coronaviruses in Pteropus and Rousettus species of bats from totally different states of India’ said.

“In the present scenario of changing demography and ecological manipulations, it is challenging to have checks on the encounters of bats with other animals and humans,” the study said, highlighting that the necessity for lively and steady surveillance stays essential for outbreak alerts for bat-associated viral brokers with epidemic potential, which might be useful in well timed interventions.

“Although CoVs in the subfamily coronavirinae do not usually produce clinical symptoms in their natural hosts (bats), accidental transmission of these viruses to humans and other animals may result in respiratory, enteric, hepatic or neurologic diseases of variable severity. It is still not understood as to why only certain CoVs can infect people,” the study stated.

The scientists harassed on the necessity of proactive surveillance of zoonotic infections in bats.

The detection and identification of such viruses from bats additionally recommends cross-sectional antibody surveys (human and home animals) in localities the place the viruses have been detected.

Similarly, if the epidemiological state of affairs calls for, evidence-based surveillance must also be carried out, the study stated whereas emphasing on the necessity of creating robust mechanisms for working collectively with varied stakeholders comparable to wildlife, poultry, animal husbandry and human well being departments.

“In conclusion, our study showed detection of bat CoVs in two species of Indian bats. Continuous active surveillance is required to identify the emerging novel viruses with epidemic potential,” Dr Yadav stated.

Elaborating on the study, Dr Yadav stated throat and rectal swab samples of two bat species — Rousettus and Pteropus — from seven states have been screened for the bat coronvirus throughout which the consultant samples collected from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu examined constructive whereas these from Karnataka, Chandigarh, Punjab, Telengana, Gujarat and Odisha got here out destructive.

The reverse-transcription polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) exams and sequencing have been used for the affirmation of the findings.

“This is an ongoing study to understand the prevalence of the Nipah virus in bats,” she stated.

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