Bats, members of the Chiroptera order, are pivotal to ecosystems but are associated with a plethora of viruses, some of which can be detrimental to humans. In Europe, the highest risks are related to the transmission of lyssaviruses, a genus of viruses which includes the rabies virus.

In Italy, for example, transmission of a lyssavirus was reported in a cat in 2020 while, fortunately, no cases have ever been notified in humans. Surveillance activities are essential to determine whether these viruses are circulating among animal populations and to prevent potential risks for human health.

Find out a more about bats, lyssaviruses and their surveillance activities in this video produced by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe), an Italian health authority and research organization in the fields of animal health, food safety and zoonoses.