|[SARS: Foto: Alamy]|
Like I said in my previous post here, the virus has the potential to undergo rapid genetic change as it adapts to new hosts and possibly even within a host species.
Currently, more than ten mammalian species have been proven to be susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV or related viruses, among them rats, mouses, cats, pigs and humans. But these findings do not signify that these species are the host species.
A study of horseshoe bats (Rhinolophidae) in different regions of mainland China in 2004 showed that each of the four species surveyed had evidence of infection by a SARS-like–CoV. Horseshoe bats inhabit temperate and tropical regions of Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe.
Are you perhaps living in Western Europe and feeling relatively safe from the dangers a possible infection with novel Coronavirus (nCoV or SARS-2)? Don’t be, because at least two species of horseshoe bats are living in a territorium near you. These are the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) and the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros). Has anyone tested these bats yet?
 Song et al: Cross-host evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in palm civet and human in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA - 2005
 Li et al: Bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses in Science 2005