320,000 novel viruses live in mammals, study extrapolates

09/3/2013 | PhysOrg.com

An estimated 320,000 as-yet-unknown viruses are living within nonhuman mammals, and many may be zoonotic, according to a study based on PCR evaluation of samples from 1,897 bats in Bangladesh. The authors say identifying all the viruses living in animals would help expose those with the potential to jump species into humans and pose a serious global public health threat. "A more systematic, multidisciplinary, and One Health framework is needed if we are to understand what drives and controls viral diversity and following that, what causes viruses to emerge as disease-causing pathogens," researcher Simon Anthony said.

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