Scientists say they’ve produced “the clearest evidence yet” the SARS virus originated in Chinese horseshoe bats and that direct bat-to-human transmission is “plausible.” The 2002 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) pandemic was one of the most significant public health events in recent history and researchers have been studying the virus to better understand how it is transmitted to prepare for future outbreaks.
An international research team—with participants in China, Australia, Singapore and the U.S.—has published its results in the journal Nature. “Our discovery that bats carrying SARS-CoV may be able to directly infect humans has enormous implications for public health control measures,” stated co-author Dr. Peter Daszak, president of the New York-based EcoHealth Alliance. Daszak is principal investigator on an NIH/National Science Foundation (NSF) Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) grant that provided some project funding.
The results are based on genetic analysis of samples taken over the course of a year from members of a horseshoe bat colony in Kunming, China. At least seven different strains of SL-CoVs were found to be circulating within the single group of bats. The findings highlight the importance of research programs targeting high-risk wildlife groups in emerging disease hotspots to predict, prepare for, and prevent pandemics, the researchers suggest.
“Our findings suggest that SARS-like coronaviruses are diverse and abundant in bats in Asia, and the potential for future spillover remains high,” Daszak noted. “If we add this to the recent finding that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) originates in Saudi Arabian bats, it’s strong evidence that bat coronaviruses remain a substantial global threat to public health.”
The EEID program is a joint NIH-NSF initiative that supports efforts to understand the underlying ecological and biological mechanisms that govern relationships between human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. The highly interdisciplinary research projects supported apply both ecological and biomedical methods, and study how environmental events such as habitat alteration, biological invasion, climate change, and pollution alter the risks of emergence and transmission of viral, parasitic, and bacterial diseases in humans and other animals. Fogarty manages NIH participation in the venture and oversees the Daszak award (R01TW005869).
Additional U.S. government funding for the research came from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH (R01AI079231), a Fogarty award supported with International Influenza Funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (R56TW009502) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT initiative. The State Key Program for Basic Research and the National Natural Science Foundation of China also provided support.
Ann Puderbaugh | Newswise
Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia
10.12.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
UC San Diego researchers develop sensors to detect and measure cancer's ability to spread
06.12.2018 | University of California - San Diego
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.
The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
03.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Life Sciences
10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
10.12.2018 | Life Sciences