Over 60 bat-borne viruses, including Ebola, are known to infect humans, and researchers at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) are looking to uncover why bats can transmit these viruses without getting sick themselves.
WIV collects and stores thousands of virus samples from bats in the field. When field samples failed, these abundant stores helped identify a coronavirus that killed 24,000 pigs last year in mainland China.
Why are bats so resilient? One reason may be that they produce a limited inflammatory response to viruses, while humans tend to "overreact with inflammation when infected by viruses," found researcher Zhou Peng.