Original Article: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008758
- The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the considerable public health, economic, and societal effects of virus spreading from a wildlife reservoir.
- The transmission of COVID-19 virus among humans also presents a new set of problems when considering viral spreading from people to naive wildlife and other animal populations.
- Establishing new wildlife reservoirs for COVID-19 virus will further complicate public health control measures and can lead to wildlife health and conservation impacts.
- It has been reported that the likely origin of COVID-19 virus and other related betacoronaviruses are bats.
- The study proposed that the key group of concern for viral spreading from humans to wildlife are the free-ranging bats.
- The study review the diversity and natural host range of betacoronavirus in bats.
- The study also examine the risk of humans accidentally infecting free-ranging bats with COVID-19 virus.
- Review of the worldwide distribution and host range of betacoronavirus evolutionary lineages proposes that more than 40 species of temperate-zone North American bats can be immunologically naive and vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.
- The study highlights an urgent need to proactively connect the well-being of human and wildlife health during the current pandemic.
- The study also highlights implementation of new tools to continue wildlife research.
- Wildlife research should be performed while keeping away from possible severe health and conservation impacts of COVID-19 virus spreading back into free-ranging bat populations.