New Study: Bats More Likely Than Rodents to Carry Disease

New Study: Bats More Likely Than Rodents to Carry Disease

Rodents hugely outnumber bats, but bats are more likely than rodents to carry viruses that can be transmitted between animals and humans, according to new research by Colorado State University disease ecologists.

February 12, 2013

Rodents hugely outnumber bats, but bats are more likely than rodents to carry viruses that can be transmitted between animals and humans, according to new research by Colorado State University disease ecologists.

"There's been a lot of speculation that bats might be special in some way as far as their potential to host zoonotic diseases," said Angela Luis, a postdoctoral fellow who conducted the research with Colleen Webb, a biology professor at Colorado State. Zoonotic are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. "We found that although there are twice as many rodent species as there are bat species, bats hosted more zoonotic viruses per species than rodents." Luis and Webb scoured existing studies to produce their findings, which appear this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-rodents-disease.html#jCp