Likely source of the current pandemic, the bats do not appear to suffer particularly of coronavirus like the one that causes the COVID-19. Us researchers want to understand why and thus accelerate the search for a cure.
“The bats are well known carriers of several viruses, some of which can make humans very sick. […] Yet they don’t seem to suffer from it “, asks David Ray, a professor at the University of Texas Tech.
In a press release, the us announced that two of its researchers have received a grant and will study in the next year specimens of 10 species of bats, some older and others more recent.
Thus, the researchers want to elucidate the way in which the immune system of these beasts winged has evolved to allow them to tolerate this kind of virus.
They also want to highlight the differences between the immune system of these small animals and those of humans.
Part of the answer seems to be to draw in the ability of bats to moderate their immune response to coronavirus.
On the contrary, in humans, the immune system seems to get carried away when he meets the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19, which triggers an inflammatory reaction, sometimes hazardous, describe the conduct of the study.
According to several experts, it is likely that the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19, comes from bats. He could then have mutated by being transmitted to other animals before infecting humans.
“Many of the random mutations and recombination events are necessary before a virus transmitted by a bat can infect the man. Typically, an intermediate host, and a constant interaction is needed for that to happen “, informs a postdoctoral researcher Diana Moreno Santillán, the University of Texas Tech.