Online Program

Bats: Reservoirs for zoonotic disease and the implications for public health

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Lisa Winnett, BS, CPH (Provisional), School of Public Health-Epidemiology, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Bats are one of the most diverse and abundant mammals on earth, comprising 20% of all mammal species and have been implicated as reservoirs for a variety of diseases. With approximately 70% of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases being zoonotic in origin, bats have become an animal of interest as they serve as a reservoir for a variety of diseases, currently over 80 virus species and parasites have been isolated and detected within this group of mammals.  Understanding what makes bats such good candidates for carriers of disease are still poorly understood, but research interest is gaining and pointing to unique biological traits bats posses compared to other mammals species. Public health implications for understanding biology of bats are important in preventing future outbreaks of disease, such as increased wildlife surveillance and communication between wildlife biologist, veterinarians, physicians, and public health practitioners.  This is a review of current literature regarding bats as reservoirs for disease and highlights further areas of investigation, all of which have public health implications.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Describes bats as potential reservoirs for disease Explain why bats make good reservoirs for disease Evaluate a need for further research as to why they make good reservoirs for disease and the need to develop working relationships with those outside of public health, such as wildlife biologists.

Keyword(s): Veterinary Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as conservation biologist and am currently seeking my MPH. San Diego Zoo Institute of Conservation Research-Maui Bird Conservation Center, Makawao, HI, Research Associate •: management of breeding bird pairs, behavioral observations, record keeping, and veterinary care. • Avian propagation experience including but not limited to artificial incubation, hand rearing of chicks, and behavioral observations of fledglings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.