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Scientists show how dangerous diseases can be transmitted from bats to humans

June 01, 18:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The researchers have proved that Chiroptera (wing-handed animals) may transmit virulent diseases to human through gnawing animals
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© EPA/BARBARA WALTON

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. An international scientific team from the Tomsk State University (TSU), United States and Mexico have performed a study on bats and its parasites.

The researchers have proved that Chiroptera (wing-handed animals) may transmit virulent diseases to human through gnawing animals.

"We have found gamasid mites which are usual both for bats and gnawing animals. Thus, mites could transmit pathogenic agents from bats to gnawing animals which in turn carry them to the human. Moreover, the infection could be also transmitted from bats to human by mosquitos," said Maria Orlova, a research assistant from the TSU laboratory of biodiversity monitoring.

The Chiportea was earlier considered as not dangerous in carrying infections, as they are to a large extent isolated from other vertebral animals. But afterwards scientists have found out that bats are involved in the propagation of Ebola virus, designating the importance of studies on bats as carrying agents. During the research on the Antilles, it has been shown that bats suffer from skin parasites, the gamasid mites, which have been observed before only on gnawing animals. This implies that bats neighbor and interchange its parasites and infections with gnawing animals, many of those are permanent attendants of a man.

These data are especially important taking into account the results of blood analysis of bats where the following dangerous to human health infections and helminths have been found: bacterial agents from genus Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Rickettsia, as well as nematode (threadworm) from genus Litomosoides.

The carriers of dangerous diseases could be transmitted from bats to humans through the mediators as gnawing animals or through gnat stings. "The large majority of the parasites specific to Chiroptera do not attack humans, but our investigations have confirmed that mites could spread diseases among small mammals, who in turn could transmit the infections to humans," Orlova said.

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