Influenza, the contagion also passes through bats

    Influenza, the contagion also passes through bats

    Influenza, does its contagion also pass through bats? Maybe yes. As was the case with avian and swine, according to some studies, a distinct strain of the flu virus is also present in the DNA of bats, just as it was with pigs and chickens, although the possibility of infection for humans has not been confirmed.



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    Influenza, its contagion also passes through the bats? Maybe yes. As was the case with avian and swine, according to some studies, a distinct strain of the influenza virus is also present in the DNA of the bats, just as it was for pigs and chickens, although the possibility of infection for humans has not been confirmed.



    To reveal it is one American research, published in PNAS, carried out by a group of scholars from the Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, directed by Professor Ruben Donis, who in the last five years has carried out several studies on bats from Guatemala.

    Studies conducted to date by these and other scholars show that the virus is present in many animals: not only in pigs and chickens, but also in waterfowl, dogs, seals, whales and even bats. In recent years, scientists from all over the world have identified the presence of numerous different flu strains in many animal speciesi:

    "Most people - commented Professor Doris - are mistakenly convinced that traces of the influenza virus have already been found in all possible animals, but this is not the case at all".

    But can this strain present in bats be transmitted to humans? According to the data published in the research, it is very difficult for this to happen, because this type of virus tends to weaken a lot in environments other than its origin. However, a possible hybridization process with other similar strains could make it strengthen and therefore threaten human health.

    For this reason, supported by the analysis of bat samples from Guatemala, the scholars they do not at all exclude the possibility of a contagion for mankind and neither spread of a new pandemic.

    This virus - the scientists explained - becomes "potentially harmful to humans if it mixes with the most common forms of flu, because it could exchange genes and mutate into much more dangerous forms".



    So is a new pandemic coming up?
    “Despite the divergence from the known types of virus A, - concluded the scholars - even the one found in bats is compatible with a genetic exchange with the human virus in cells. This suggests that it has the ability to contribute to a reassortment that can give rise to new pandemic viruses or viruses capable of spreading among animals ”.



    Verdiana Amorosi

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