Israeli scientists say no evidence bats caused Covid breakout
A new study conducted by researchers from Tel Aviv University rejects the common assumption that the Covid-19 outbreak was caused by bats.
While bats are known for being reservoirs for viruses, including coronavirus, the study showed that they also have a highly effective immune system that helps them deal with diseases that are lethal for other mammals or humans, according to the university press release.
“In general, bats are mistakenly conceived of as reservoirs of many contagious diseases, only due to their being serologically positive; in other words, in possession of antibodies, which means that bats have survived the disease and developed an immune response. After that they overcame the virus altogether and disengaged from it; hence, they are no longer its carriers,” said Dr. Maya Weinburg, who led the study, adding that bats play an important role in exterminating insects, replanting of deforested areas, and pollination of crops.
The scientist underlined that the fact of detecting a particular virus in bats “does not necessarily ensure further infection.” She added that “the comprehensive study we’ve conducted raises serious doubts regarding the possibility of bats being the origin of the Covid-19 outbreak.”
According to the researchers, further studies of bats’ immune capabilities could help “obtain new and effective means of coping in humanity’s struggle against contagious disease, aging and cancer.”