A study carried out by researchers at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), in Geelong Victoria, looks at ways to prevent bats from spreading disease.
The study has been led by Dr. Linfa Wang who has highlighted the importance of understanding 'host-switching', where a virus spreads from a host species to a new one. The study shows that although bats, because of their efficient immune systems do not suffer from diseases themselves, they carry the virus and affect other species of animals and even humans.
Some of the diseases they carry include Hendra, Ebola, and SARS.
A research programme is being planned by CSIRO to study the 'viral radar', the immune system of bats and also strategies to control the spread of viruses. The programme was announced by Dr. Linfa Wang the 1st International One Health Congress in Melbourne.