Journal article

Lessons from the host defences of bats, a unique viral reservoir

Aaron T Irving, Matae Ahn, Geraldine Goh, Danielle E Anderson, Lin-Fa Wang

Nature | NATURE RESEARCH | Published : 2021


There have been several major outbreaks of emerging viral diseases, including Hendra, Nipah, Marburg and Ebola virus diseases, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-as well as the current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Notably, all of these outbreaks have been linked to suspected zoonotic transmission of bat-borne viruses. Bats-the only flying mammal-display several additional features that are unique among mammals, such as a long lifespan relative to body size, a low rate of tumorigenesis and an exceptional ability to host viruses without presenting clinical disease. Here we discuss the mechanisms that underpin the host defenc..

View full abstract


Awarded by Singapore National Research Foundation

Awarded by National Medical Research Council of Singapore

Awarded by Ministry of Education Singapore

Funding Acknowledgements

Research in the group of L.-F.W. is supported by grants from the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF2012NRF-CRP001-056 and NRF2016NRF-NSFC002-013), the National Medical Research Council of Singapore (MOH-OFIRG19MAY-0011 and COVID19RF-003) and the Ministry of Education Singapore (MOE2019-T2-2-130). A.T.I. is supported by National Medical Research Council of Singapore (NMRC/BNIG/2040/2015) and a Zhejiang University special scientific research fund for COVID-19 prevention and control.