April 8, 2021

Pathogen Spillover: Lessons Learned from Emerging Bat Viruses

This webinar is part of the Animal Matters Seminar Series presented by Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy and co-sponsored with Wildlife, Aquatic, Zoo, and Exotic Medicine Club (WAZE)

Raina Plowright, B.V.Sc. Hons I, M.S. Epidemiology, Ph.D. Ecology, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Montana State University. Adjunct Faculty, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University. Adjunct Research Fellow, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Principal Investigator, Bat OneHealth.

The rapid, global spread and human health impacts of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; the agent of COVID-19 disease) have demonstrated humanity’s vulnerability to zoonotic disease pandemics from bats. While most emerging zoonotic infections originate in wildlife, mechanisms driving this process are rarely elucidated. We show how pathogens are transmitted from bats to humans in different contexts. We show one system where loss of winter habitat interacts with climatic factors to drive henipavirus spillover from fruit bats to livestock and how habitat restoration could stop spillover.

Made possible by the generous support of Elizabeth A. Lawrence Endowed Fund

About Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy
The mission of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy is to conduct and encourage the study of complex issues surrounding the changing role and impact of animals in society. The Center supports the development and dissemination of research-driven policies, programs, and practices that benefit both people and animals. Work conducted by the Center is based on the tenets that animal well-being matters, that animal and human well-being are linked and that both are enhanced through improved understanding of human-animal relationships.