Bat Survives with Deadly Viruses | But How?

Bats are amazing in surviving with many deadly viruses.

Bat Survives with Deadly Viruses | But How?
Bat Survives with Deadly Viruses

Bat Survives with Deadly Viruses | But How?


Bat, a nocturnal animal, seems very innocent in a first look. Although bats are not so harmless how we thought, they can carry more than 130 species of viruses, including life-threatening viruses like Novel Coronavirus, SARS, MARS, Marburg, Ebola, Hendra, Nipah. Now the question is, how does so much virus come into them? The answer is the number of species of bats, the ability to fly, the lifestyle and their eating habits.

Twenty percent of the world's total mammals are bats, more than thirteen hundred in the number of species. The only mammal in the world capable of flying in the sky exists on all continents except the ice-covered Antarctica continent. Bats can fly many distances in the air. There are bats of some species that can traverse more than a thousand kilometers. Therefore, this ability to fly allows different species of bats to come close to each other.

Because of their unique habit of grouping together in the form of a large colony, it also provides the opportunity for different types of viruses to be exchanged between them.

The bats also survive by eating several insects, from which various kinds of viruses enter their body. Another feature of the bats is they can live a long life. It’s for about 30 years. That means the virus also can live for a long time inside the bat’s body and use them as a carrier.

Now another question can come to our mind that although bats carry so many deadly viruses, why not attack them and kill them. The answer is that the individual immunity of the bats, which he has acquired by being able to fly in a series of evolution and at the same time co-evolving with the virus for a long time.

With the virus co-evolving over a long period, the underlying immune system of the bats has been formed such that the presence of a large amount of 'interferon' and a low amount of 'inflammatory cytokine' appear in their body. The abundance of this interferon can protect them from any new RNA virus attack and cure them very quickly.


The presence of a small amount of inflammatory cytokine prevents them from causing inflammation in the body in the presence of the virus. Simultaneously, the characteristics of the 'weak DNA sensing' have been found for DNA viruses. Imperfect DNA sensing means avoiding the presence of DNA and trying not to take any action against it.

Scientists believe that this weak DNA sensing technique created in the body of the bats due to the ability of flying. Because of the extra metabolic activity on the fly, some DNA wasted and roved into the cytosol into their body, those should respond to the bat’s body. Still, they don’t work because of the poor DNA sensing technique which they acquired in the evolutionary process. That means they cannot recognize the DNA virus as their enemy.

Because of this particular immune system in the body of the bats, the viruses do not have many advantages inside the body of the bats. Therefore, the viruses are more prone to spread to another abetting body. And these viruses stay with a massive pressure inside the bat’s body that’s why when they enter another abetting body they spread a lot in a short time. However, due to their living conditions (high in a tree branch) and nocturnal living, it is not possible to have very close contact with other animals. Still, due to the human-made environment, their habitat has been destroyed day by day.

Another thing is people start to eat them too. As a result, now animals, even humans also infected with various diseases, which is spreading from bats. But another thing is right if the human can adopt the same technique such as bats, humans can also prevent the infection of the virus. The scientists need more deep studies with this particular ability of bats. Who knows it can be possible one day?