Bushmeat and zoonoses threats warrant need for national zoonoses combat inter-disciplinary research partnership, evolving citizen science and policy ban of trade and consumption

Ansu Thomas


“We must find them before they find us” said Dr.Shi, Bat Virologist”. Indian bat species diversity stands 127 ssp and China 147 bat ssp. Indian publications online (2000-2020), searching “bat”, “Chiroptera”, “India”, retrieved results viz., 191 (Elsevier); 27 (Scopus) and 0 (Wiley). For China, 594 publications exist (2000-2017)2; Himalayan cave bat biodiversity is not systematized, average annual deforestation rate, from 2000 to 2014 being 0.5% (Bhutan, Nepal) but 1.3% in India, China. “Dilution effect”, so-called “negative diversity–disease”, says ‘biodiversity losses promote disease transmission’. Protecting natural areas from human incursion reduces zoonotic disease spillover. Emergence of bat coronavirus represents recent viral explosion reaction to declining biodiversity. Meta-analysis of 143 hunting studies from India showed 114 mammal species but bat-hunting data absent.


Epidemiology, Zoonoses, Emerging infectious diseases

Full Text:



Talmale S, Saikia U, Version 2.0. A Checklist of Indian Bat Species (Mammalia: Chiroptera), Zoo Surv India. 2018.

Feijó A, Wang Y, Sun J, Li F, Wen Z, Ge D, et al. Research trends on bats in China: A twenty-first century review, Mammal Biol. 2019; 98:163-72.

Brandt JS, Allendorf T, Radeloff V, Brooks J. Effects of national forest-management regimes on unprotected forests of the Himalayas. Conserv Biol. 2017;31(6):1271-82.

Keesing F, Belden LK, Daszak P, Dobson A, Harvell CD, Holt RD, et al. Impacts of biodiversity on the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases. Nature. 2010;468:647-52.

Rohr JR, Civitello DJ, Halliday FW, Hudson PJ, Lafferty KD, Wood CL, Mordecai EA Towards common ground in the biodiversity–disease debate. Nature Ecol. 2020;4:24–33.

Morand S. La Prochaine Peste. Une histoire globale des sociétés et de leurs épidémies. 2016; Editions Fayard, Paris.

Velho N, Karanth KK, Laurance WF. Hunting: A serious and understudied threat in India, a globally significant conservation region, Biol Conserv. 2012;148:210-5.

Zhou P, Yang X, Zheng-Li Shi. A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin, Nature. 2020;579:270-3.

Andersen KG, Rambaut A, Ian Lipkin W, Holmes EC, Garry RF. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2, Nature Medicine. 2020;26:450-5.

Marí Sáez A, Nowak K, Lapeyre V, Zimmermann F, Dux A, Kuhl HS, et al. Investigating the zoonotic origin of the West African Ebola epidemic. Mol Med. 2015;7:17-23.

Formenty P, Epelboin A, Allarangar Y, Libama F, Boumandouki P, Koné L, et al. Séminaire de formation des formateurs et d'analyse des épidemies de fièvres hémorragiques due au virus Ebola en Afrique centrale de 2001 à 2004. Santé Publique. 2004;244-54.

Poon LLM, Chu DK, Chan KH, Wong OK, Ellis TM, Leung YHC, et al. Identification of a novel coronavirus in bats. J Virol. 2005;79:2001-9.

Chen L, Liu B, Yang J, Jin Q. DBatVir: The Database of Bat-associated Viruses. 2014.

Yadav P, Sarkale P, Patil D, Shete A, Kokate P, Kumar V, Jain R, et al. Isolation of Tioman virus from Pteropus giganteus bat in North-East region of India. Infection, Genet and Evol. 2016;45:224-9.

Br A, Dovih P, Ramakrishnan U, LiangE., Mendenhall I, Wen Hong DL, Smith GJD. Evidence of filovirus and henipavirus in bats and bat harvesters, India. Intl J Infect Dis. 2019;79(S1):1–150.

Tao Y, Shi M, Chommanard C, Queen K, Zhang J, Markotter W, et al. Surveillance of bat coronaviruses in Kenya identifies relatives of human coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and their recombination history. J Virol. 2017;91:e01953-16.

Cavanagh D. Coronaviruses in poultry and other birds. Avian Pathol. 2005;34:439-48.

Huang C Liu, WJ, Xu W, Jin T, Zhao Y, Song J, Shi Y, Ji W, Jia H, Zhou Y, et al. A bat-derived putative cross-family recombinant coronavirus with a reovirus gene. PLoS Pathog. 2016;12:e1005883.

Ge XY, Li JL, Yang XL, Chmura AA, Zhu G, Epstein JH. Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor. Nature. 2013;503:535-8.

Richards P. Ebola: How a People’s Science helped end an epidemic. 2016. Zed Books, London. Available at: