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Viruses 2014, 6(8), 3110-3128; doi:10.3390/v6083110

European Bats as Carriers of Viruses with Zoonotic Potential

Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Robert Koch Institute, Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany
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Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Bats)
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Abstract

Bats are being increasingly recognized as reservoir hosts of highly pathogenic and zoonotic emerging viruses (Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Rabies virus, and coronaviruses). While numerous studies have focused on the mentioned highly human-pathogenic bat viruses in tropical regions, little is known on similar human-pathogenic viruses that may be present in European bats. Although novel viruses are being detected, their zoonotic potential remains unclear unless further studies are conducted. At present, it is assumed that the risk posed by bats to the general public is rather low. In this review, selected viruses detected and isolated in Europe are discussed from our point of view in regard to their human-pathogenic potential. All European bat species and their roosts are legally protected and some European species are even endangered. Nevertheless, the increasing public fear of bats and their viruses is an obstacle to their protection. Educating the public regarding bat lyssaviruses might result in reduced threats to both the public and the bats. View Full-Text
Keywords: bats; zoonoses; virus; virus discovery; emerging infectious disease bats; zoonoses; virus; virus discovery; emerging infectious disease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kohl, C.; Kurth, A. European Bats as Carriers of Viruses with Zoonotic Potential. Viruses 2014, 6, 3110-3128.

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