Coronaviruses detected in bats in close contact with humans in Rwanda
Julius Nziza, Tracey Goldstein, Mike Cranfield, Paul Webala, Olivier Nsengimana, Thierry Nyatanyi, Antoine Mudakikwa, Alexandre Tremeau-Bravard, Dennis Byarugaba, Jean Claude Tumushime, Ivan Emil Mwikarago, Isidore Gafarasi, Jonna Mazet & Kirsten Gilardi
A study in Rwanda focused on sampling bats at high risk human-wildlife interfaces detected eight different coronaviruses in many bat species.
- Four known and four novel coronaviruses were discovered in bats living in close association with humans, such as in homes and at ecotourism sites
- The viruses detected in this study are not believed to pose a threat to human health
A better understanding of the ecology of these low threat bat coronaviruses, the bat hosts, and the bat-human interactions in these settings informs a more complete picture of the coronavirus family and those that pose a higher threat to human health, i.e. which viruses to focus on for additional study, vaccine development, etc.
Key Definition: Human-wildlife interface – any circumstance where there is an opportunity for humans and wildlife to interact