The Coronavirus, also called COVID-19, from China apparently originated as a virus of bats. In fact, a new study released in February by the University of California, Berkeley, points out that a number of serious viral disease outbreaks in recent years, including SARS, MERS, and Ebola, all originated from bats.
Just why is that? The study found that bats have unusually strong immune systems, which causes bat viruses to have greater virulence. The viruses that survive bats wreak havoc when they cross over, usually through other animals, and infect humans and other animals that have tamer immune systems.
When bat cells are attacked by a virus, with the amazing speed they release interferon. This molecule instantly signals other cells to wall themselves off from the virus. The only viruses that survive this quick response are the ones that become able to multiply so quickly within a host that the cells can’t mount a defense. Let’s hope that this and other research will help us to better understand and treat these viruses.
- Posted by admin
- On May 1, 2020
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