What if we couldn’t blame the covid bats?

The bats are in the crosshairs of the humanity since March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared covid as pandemic. Since then, the number of scientific studies that ensure that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has its origin in the chiroptera that lived in the caves limestone caves of Wuhanin Chinawhere the disease. Its cells have been investigated and DNAand everything points to them, since they have a coronavirus genetically very similar to the one that infects humans. Even the WHO maintains the discourse that the covid was transmitted from these flying mammals to people through another animal. Now, however, a new study calls into question the origin of covid.

Researchers of the Tel Aviv University assert that the correlation between the pandemic and bats “was not based on sufficient evidence. convincing“. In fact, the tests were done so quickly and without solid foundations that caused “stress y confusion unnecessary throughout the world“, say the doctor of veterinary medicine Maya Weinberg and neurobiologist and zoology professor Yossi Yovel, who coordinated the study.

There is insufficient evidence

Both experts have reviewed much of these scientific studies and come to the conclusion that there are not sufficient evidence to consider it proven that the direct origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus are bats. Weinberg and Yovel indicate that, at best, one can maintain the conjecture that they have been an intermediate step in the evolution of this virus before reaching humans.

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They reiterate this in the study ‘Revisiting the paradigm: Are bats really reservoirs of pathogens or do they possess an efficient immune system’, published with the journal ‘iScience Journal’. In this line, they recall that the chiropteradespite having a “infamous reputation” among the scientific communityexhibit a immune response balanced against viruses that have evolved over millions of years.” What’s more, the scientists note that “they have a immune system highly effective that allows them to deal relatively easily with viruses considered lethal to other mammals,” as was the first strain of covid. So much so that their cells do not become infected with covid.

Why bats are blamed.

Dr. Weinberg explains why bats are often blamed for all ills. “They are seen as reservoirs for many contagious diseases just for being positive serologically positive“. In plainer words, that does not mean that they are carriers o transmittersbut “have survived the disease and developed an immune response,” the scientist explains.

On the other hand, the expert points out that, on some occasions, these mammals “may be carriers of a virus similar to a human pathogen without implying that they are reservoirs of the agent causing the disease in humans.”

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To shed as much light as possible on the issue, researchers at Tel Aviv University have made a meta-analysis of the findings of more than 100 viruses for which bats are considered potential reservoirs. This is the case for ebola, sars and covid,” he details. “In 48% of the cases, this statement was based on the incidence of antibodies o PCR testingrather than actual isolation of identical viruses,” Weinberg concludes.

Beyond isolating the virus

“Mere isolation of a virus is not sufficient to mark an animal as a carrier. A minimum number of index cases in which the virus is isolated is required to be considered as such, as well as the existence of an established reservoir and a transmission pathway,” details the doctor, who also suggests that detecting the virus in a particular species does not guarantee further infection. “There must be other biological, ecological and anthropogenic conditions for such an event to occur,” she points out.

For all these reasons, the findings of this study gives an opposite perspective to what was hitherto believed and give bats a second chance. “We must study their antiviral immunological capabilities in depth in order to obtain new and effective means to confront humanity’s fight against contagious diseases, aging and cancer,” he proposes.

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