Researchers Point to Bats as Source for Measles & Mumps

April 27, 2012 / Germany, Europe
Histopathology of Measles Pneumonia

Photo via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An international team of researchers studying viruses in Germany have discovered that bats act as a natural host for paramyxoviruses, the family of viruses responsible for measles, mumps, pneumonias and colds.

Using modelling, the scientists working at the University of Bonn searched for the origin of paramyxoviruses in wild animals.

The results of their research pointed to bats as having “the highest likelihood” of being the original hosts.

Furthermore, the researchers more than doubled the number of known paramyxoviruses, discovering a further 66 new species in the family.

Although concerning, it is not yet known if any of the newly discovered viruses are harmful or even able to be transmitted to humans.

As the source for paramyxoviruses, bats will play an important role in tracking future outbreaks of disease and planning vaccination campaigns.

The research is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Scientists find measles virus relative in bats, warn of possible human transmission [ via Dean Wiseman]

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