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François Meurens talks about bats in Les Jours d'Après, the deconfined health podcast

Les Jours d'Après
Studying bats to better defend against viruses? This is the question asked by health journalist Laura Chatelain.

Lockdown is over, but we will continue to talk about the coronavirus and live with it for a long time to come: the lessons to be learned, the medical research to be monitored and all that it will continue to change in our lives and for our health on a daily basis? We talk about all these subjects in the podcast: Les Jours d'Après.

What can we learn from bats? Do they deserve their unflattering reputation as virus reservoirs? Can they provide clues for treatments and vaccines? It is to answer all these questions that François Meurens, a researcher at BIOEPAR, brings his expertise as a virologist-immunologist to the podcast Les Jours d'Après.

Despite the animal's bad reputation, the bat is increasingly being studied: although it carries many viruses, it seems to be little affected by them, which intrigues researchers. 

Chiropterans, the only mammals to fly, are very diverse. One in five mammals is a bat, and they are found in a wide variety of environments, which may explain why they carry many viruses. In addition, their communal lifestyle and metabolism seem to favour the persistence of viruses. They have already been involved in many epidemics and are suspected to be at the root of the current health crisis. They are increasingly studied in virology and immunology, although the materials needed are rare (cell cultures, antibodies, etc.). 

In addition to their relationship to viruses, these animals are essential components of ecosystems and help control insect populations or even contribute to pollination! Their high healing capacity, their ability to hibernate, their echolocation system... Bats still have a lot to teach us!

Listen to the podcast (in french) by following this link

https://anchor.fm/laura-chatelain/episodes/5---Etudier-les-chauves-souris-pour-mieux-se-dfendre-contre-les-virus-ef1951

LesJoursdapres

Lockdown is over, but we will continue to talk about the coronavirus and live with it for a long time to come: the lessons to be learned, the medical research to be monitored and all that it will continue to change in our lives and for our health on a daily basis? We talk about all these subjects in the podcast: The Days After.