Dr.Aaron T. Irving published an article in Nature



Recently, Aaron T. Irving of ZJU-UoE Institute published a perspective article titled " Lessons from the host defences of bats, a unique viral reservoir " in Nature.

Bats are rich reservoirs of many zoonootic viruses, with a unique host defence system. Lessons from the effective host defence of bats would help us to better understand viral evolution and to better predict, prevent and control future viral spillovers.



Picture: The potential zoonotic transmission cycle for coronaviruses. (published in Nature)

Article summary:

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 the authors discuss the mechanisms that underpin the host defence system and immune tolerance of bats, and their ramifications for human health and disease.

Dr Irving’s research group focuses on emerging zoonotic viral infections, the host-pathogen interactions triggered by these viruses and comparative immunology of bats.