Coronaviruses detected in bats in close contact with humans in Rwanda

bats in Rwanda

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

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A study in Rwanda focused on sampling bats at high risk human-wildlife interfaces detected eight different coronaviruses in many bat species. 

Key Findings 

  • 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 

Informing Action 

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 

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