COVID-19: Bat coronavirus found in two Indian bat species

Delhi: April 15


As the world grapples with coronavirus, researchers have found the presence of a different kind of corona virus  in two Bat species from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. This was revealed in a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Significantly, There is no evidence or research to claim that these bat corona viruses can cause disease in humans, said Dr Pragya D Yadav, Scientist at the National Institute of Virology , Pune . He is the first author of study conducted by ICMR. The study has been published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. As many as Twenty-five bats of Rousettus and Pteropus species from Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu were found positive for the virus. These bat corona viruses have no relation and not responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yadav said. He added that Pteropus bat species were earlier found positive for Nipah virus in 2018 and 2019 in Kerala.

“Bats are considered to be the natural reservoir for many viruses, of which some are potential human pathogens. In India, an association of Pteropus medius bats with the Nipah virus was reported in the past. It is suspected that the recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2  also has its association with bats. Dr. Yadav said that the objective of the study titled ‘Detection of coronaviruses in Pteropus and Rousettus species of bats from different states of India’. This was done to check possibilities of spread of covid-19 by these bats, she stated.