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‘A Lot To Contribute’: CSU Helps Research Bats & Coronavirus

CBS Denver logoCBS Denver 2/20/2020 Syndicated Local – CBS Denver
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A team of infectious disease researchers at Colorado State University are joining the fight against coronavirus. Multiple professors, and students, are trying to find the direct source of the virus, believed to originate from bats.

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Rebekah Kading, associate professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology is one of many who are working with experts from around the world to determine how bats transferred the respiratory virus to humans, who are now passing it among each other.

“My lab is just getting into coronaviruses,” Kading told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “This coronavirus is something that we are continually learning more about every day.”

Kading said bats across the world, including in the United States, have carried coronaviruses for years. However, this is the first time such a deadly version of the virus has jumped to humans.

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“What we are interested in is how the viruses are getting from bats to people,” Kading said.

“They’re likely the reservoir for this group of viruses.”

CSU and a team of researchers in Uganda teamed up to test samples from bats. They hope to find the source of the coronavirus many are concerned about.

“Do (those who first carry the virus) get bit? Do they inhale feces?” Kading asked. “We are going to be looking for the virus’ nucleic acid in the bat’s feces and saliva.”

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Kading said the goal of the research at CSU is to find a way to make sure humans and bats can both coexist without concern of the spread of coronavirus. Kading said bats play a very important role in the success of many ecosystems, and shouldn’t be lost out of fear from humans.

“CSU has a lot to contribute. The diversity research that happens here is a strength of ours. There are a lot of different ways the CSU can respond and provide information for this virus,” Kading said.

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