Reproduction of East-African bats may guide risk mitigation for coronavirus spillover

fruit bats in Ghana

Reproduction of East-African bats may guide risk mitigation for coronavirus spillover

Diego Montecino-Latore, Tracey Goldstein, Kirsten Gilardi, David Wolking, Elizabeth Van Wormer, Rudovick Kazwala, Benard Ssebide, Julius Niziza, Zikankuba Sijali, Michael Cranfield, PREDICT Consortium & Jonna A.K. Mazet

Publication Link

Key Findings 

  • Coronavirus shedding is expected to be more frequent during the season when young bats (pups) are becoming independent from their mother (dam) 
  • Viral shedding is higher in juvenile bats than adult bats 
  • A proposed strategy that limits human-bat contact during these high-shedding seasons promotes the co-existence of bats and humans while enabling the delivery of bat's relevant ecosystem services, such as pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination 

Informing Action 

Results from this PREDICT-funded East Africa study can guide future policy to prevent the spillover of bat-associated coronavirus to humans in high-risk and limited-resource settings. 

Key DefinitionShedding – the release of a virus or pathogen from an infected individual often through respiratory droplets, blood, or feces 

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