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Biol Lett. 2010 August 23; 6(4): 438–440.
Published online 2010 April 28. doi:  10.1098/rsbl.2010.0267
PMCID: PMC2942877

Emerging diseases in Chiroptera: why bats?


A conference entitled ‘2nd International Berlin Bat Meeting: Bat Biology and Infectious Diseases’ was held between the 19 and 21 of February 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Researchers from two major disciplines, bat biologists and disease specialists, met for the first time in an interdisciplinary event to share their knowledge about bat-associated diseases. The focus of the meeting was to understand why in particular bats are the hosts of so many of the most virulent diseases globally. During several sessions, key note speakers and participants discussed infectious diseases associated with bats, including viral diseases caused by Henipa-, Filo-, Corona- and Lyssaviruses, the spread of white-nose syndrome in North American bats, bat immunology/immunogenetics, bat parasites, and finally, conservation and human health issues.

Keywords: immunology, infectious disease, virus ecology, white-nose syndrome, conservation, zoonosis

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