Nature and climate News | Scientific ecology

Super-immunity: the bat has it, it carries the coronavirus, but does not get it

Super-immunity: the bat has it, it carries the coronavirus

Specialists from the University of Saskatchewan studied bats, revealing the unique adaptation of their organisms to viruses. It turned out that bats are capable of transmitting coronavirus infection of MERS syndrome. But at the same time, bats themselves do not get sick. Having discovered this fact, scientists concluded that they will be able to find out how coronaviruses from the body of a bat “make a jump”, infecting people and other animals.

As you know, science blames bats for distributing COVID-19. Microbiologist Vikram Misra noted that bats do not suffer from the presence of coronavirus in their body, they do not get sick, the virus does not block their immune system, as happens in humans. Somehow, the bat's body can protect itself from the effects of the virus.

Super-immunity has become the cause of scientific research. According to scientists, the cause of the spread of the virus could be a special situation caused by the stress state of bats: it could be a loss of habitat, a change of food, and moist markets in China.

While experiencing stress, the bat passed it on to its immune system, which in turn upset the general balance and allowed the coronavirus to multiply rapidly. Coronavirus adapted very quickly in a certain niche, and then somehow was able to move to another animal. According to Darryl Falzarano, he was one of the leaders in the study of bats and developed the first potential treatment for MERS-CoV. Today, coronavirus continues to pace the planet.

He has already infected more than three half million people, and seven per cent of those infected have died. In 2012, the MERS coronavirus infected almost two and a half thousand people, but only one in three infected died. There is no vaccine for either of these two types of viruses.

Coronaviruses quickly adapt to the environment and to the species in which they breed. And only in the body of a bat are viruses in a “hidden state”. In inactive mode, the virus can persist for four months while the bat is dormant.

Scientists believe that immunity to the virus is produced by maintaining a natural antiviral response - a function that is disabled in other species, including humans. At the same time, the MERS virus also adapts to the host cells of bats, mutating one specific gene very quickly.