Our new Horizon program “One Health approach to understand, predict and prevent viral emergencies from bats” starts with the National Laboratory of Virology, University of Pécs and several other fantastic partner institutions!
In recent years, several novel RNA viruses found in bats have been associated to the emergence of human diseases. Surveillance in this extremely diverse group of mammals has revealed that bats are significant reservoir hosts for many viruses whose zoonotic potential deserves further insights. OneBAT aims at investigating the trigger for viral spillover from European bats to humans or domestic animals, using a multidisciplinary consortium of ecologists, virologists and modellers. In response to the outcomes foreseen by the call, OneBAT will unravel the complex interplay between natural and spillover host, pathogen and environment that determines the emergence of infectious diseases. Information on viral replication pathways, antigenic markers, and in vitro and in vivo screening of antivirals will advance the availability of current and future therapeutic and prophylactic tools for Disease X.
Due to technical and logistical reasons, OneBAT will not investigate all the bat species and pathogens circulating in Europe; it will rather provide well-based evidence on relevant model species that could be used to study other bat species or viruses that already are or may become of interest over the lifetime of the project or in the future. We will focus on the Miniopterus schreibersii bats, a species in significant decline across Europe, and on filoviruses, coronaviruses and lyssaviruses, as high-consequence pathogens
known to circulate in the target bat. In addition to the specific information stemming from the project, OneBAT will establish a methodological platform that will make available the developed ecological and virological tools. Among them, innovative protocols for serological and virological investigations of these small-seize animals; harmonised longitudinal surveys across Europe, including tracking systems.