A study carried out by an international group of scientists has shown that the bats they are carriers of almost all genres of the family of paramyxovirus, responsible for infectious diseases that affect humans such as measles, pneumonia, mumps, influenza or encephalitis.
These mammals, according to the researchers, are the main transmitters of these pathologies and the origin of the infection that causes them, and they could be the reservoir of some paramyxoviruses that due to their genetic characteristics were thought to be peculiar to humans.
Bats have been carriers of these viruses for thousands of years, and infectious agents have been able to evolve in their guests during all this time
To carry out the research, which has identified 60 new species of viruses that affect both humans and animals, the scientists analyzed 10,000 animal samples - blood and organs - in which they observed the presence of a great genetic diversity of paramyxoviruses in all the known species of bats of the world, reason why they conclude that these chiroptera are carriers of the virus for thousands of years, and that the infectious agents have been able to evolve in the bats during all this time.
The presence of these viruses in bats can represent an obstacle to eliminate diseases such as measles or mumps, which in the developed countries are practically eradicated, but which could reappear if reservoirs persist in the animal kingdom, as in this case.
In the course of the investigation, it has also been discovered that two very dangerous viruses - Hendra and Nipah - have caused recent epidemics of deadly encephalitis in Asia and Australia, two areas of the planet where viruses of this type were not expected to be found.