Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestock
“Managing viral emergence at the interface of bats and livestock” is a 5-year Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Funded research collaboration between the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and the National Service of Agrarian Health of the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture (SENASA) focusing on emerging viral infections of common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus).
Specific research projects relate to the transmission dynamics, burden and control of vampire bat-transmitted rabies and the discovery and risk assessment of new viral pathogens affecting both vampire bats and livestock.
Objectives of research on rabies are:
- to use genetic data to identify what geographic factors affect the spread of rabies,
- to quantify the burden of vampire bat-transmitted rabies in livestock,
- to collect field data on rabies transmission in wild vampire bats in Peru to develop models that can inform how vaccination or culling of bats might be improved to directed to prevent livestock and human rabies.
Objectives of research on other vampire bat associated viruses are:
- to use new genetic tools to quantify overlaps in viral diversity between vampire bats and livestock and
- establish a controlled field system using domestic pigs to validate bats as reservoirs of shared viral infections and examine within the evolutionary dynamics of viruses in new host species.
First published: 7 July 2014