Bat in our environment
Background: All around the world exist more than thousand species of bats. In spite of some advantageous characteristics, mostly recognised in several insectivorous species, bats can transmit different kinds of microorganisms – the causes of infectious diseases. Microbial agents, recognised in connection with bats are: lyssavirus, Nipah virus, Hystoplasma capsulatum fungus, etc. In Europe there live about 28 species of bats. The most cases of European bat lyssaviruses (EBL1 and EBL2) were demonstrated in the Eptesicus serotinus species placed in Slovenia as well. We are presenting available data on rabies prevention. The rate of post-exposure treatment against rabies after the bite of bats in Slovenia is below 1% and is comparable with the remainder of Europe.
Conclusions: In most European countries, including Slovenia, the bats are included in the lists of animal species protected by the law. In spite of that, the programs of investigations of bats, including the recognition and prevention of diseases transmitted by bats are implemented. We believe that such program should be prepared in Slovenia as well. We propose for that purposes the establishment of co-operation between the medical institutions, veterinarians, cave explorers associations, societies for bat protections and other interested institutions.
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