Public Health

Tracking arboviruses

Print edition : August 04, 2017

An Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus). In a 2013 study of this bat’s virome, scientists discovered 55 viruses, 50 of them previously unknown. Photo: By Special Arrangement

The insectivorous bat Rhinolophus rouxi. Photo: By Special Arrangement

A new species of soft tick called the O. rhinolophi, which was found on insectivorous bats. The KFD virus was isolated from both the bats and these parasites.

The muscid fly (Nycteribidae), also called bat fly. They are wingless and there are published reports of their transmitting bat malaria. Photo: By Special Arrangement

Bats and other small mammals that chronically harbour viruses act as disease reservoirs, though the exact pathways through which these are transmitted to humans are not always clear. It is an area that needs research if epidemics are to be prevented.
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