Home > News > World
Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 9:48:00 AM
Thursday October 31, 2013 MYT 2:54:45 PM
CANBERRA: The Australian national science body, CSIRO, has confirmed that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus originated in horseshoe bats from China.
The findings were made by a research team led by Prof Shi Zhengli from Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, CSIRO and Duke-NUS scientist Prof Linfa Wang, according to the Xinhua news agency.
The team isolated a SARS-like coronavirus (CoV) called SL-CoV WIV1 directly from faecal samples of Chinese horseshoe bats using a methodology developed by scientists at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria.
While researchers globally have previously used genetic sequencing to demonstrate that bats are the natural reservoirs of SARS-like CoVs, this is the first time that live virus has been successfully isolated from bats to confirm them as the origin of the virus.
"The results will help governments design more effective prevention strategies for SARS and similar epidemics," the agency said citing CSIRO.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) pandemic has killed 774 people out of 8,094 infected, a case fatality ratio of almost 10%.
Horseshoe bats are found around the world including in Australia and play an important ecological role.
Their role in SARS-CoV transmission highlights the importance of protecting the bat's natural environment, so they are not forced into highly populated urban areas in search of food.
The latest research is published in the journal Nature. - Bernama
Tags / Keywords:
SARS, Australia, China, Horseshoe bats
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)