Ecological Factors of Transmission, Persistence and Circulation of Pathogens In Bat Populations

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Abstract

The existence of bats is crucial for all ecosystem units as they fulfil numerous ecological roles. However, they are also considered to be natural reservoirs of a wide range of zoonotic microorganisms, especially viruses. In this review article we briefly summarize current knowledge about various ecological factors that facilitate bat pathogen dispersal and about the current approaches to monitoring viral communities present within bat populations. On the basis of the cited papers, we suggest that the increased focus on complex viral populations in bats and their interactions with other populations and the environment is necessary to fully comprehend the relationship between emerging infectious diseases, the environment and their toll on human health.

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