A study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) has suggested there is no direct link between bats and the COVID-19 outbreak that claimed millions of lives.
It’s been put forward by researchers that bats could not have transmitted the COVID-19 virus to humans because of their highly effective immune system.
Research was led and conducted by Dr Maya Weinberg from the School of Neuroscience at TAU, who said that bats could easily be the target of such accusations because they are often thought of as carrying many diseases.
“In general, bats are mistakenly conceived of as reservoirs of many contagious disease, only due to their being serologically positive; in other words, in possession of antibodies, which means that bats have survived the disease and developed an immune response,” she said.
“After that they overcame the virus altogether and disengaged from it; hence, they are no longer its carriers.
“Nevertheless, in many cases, a virus similar to a human pathogen is liable to be found in bats; however, it is not pathogenic to humans, and is not sufficient to use bats as a reservoir.”
Carrying out the study was done by checking literature to see if bats were considered to be potential reservoirs for over 100 viruses like Ebola, SARS and COVID.
“We found that in a considerable number of cases (48%) this claim was based on the incidence of antibodies or PCR tests, rather than actual isolation of identical viruses. Moreover, many of the reported findings are not convincing,” said Dr Weinberg
From their research, they have strongly suggested that bats are not responsible for causing the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, as they believe their research says something different.
“The findings give rise to the opposite perspective, according to which we must study in-depth the immunological anti-viral capabilities of bats, and thus obtain new and effective means of coping in humanity’s struggle against contagious disease, aging and cancer.”