Novel virus detected after bats die off

Samples collected from 34 bats from the caves of Asturias and Cantabria revealed the presence of a novel filovirus called Lloviu virus.

The discovery follows unexplained bat die-offs in France, Spain and Portugal in 2002, and is “intriguing because it is completely outside of its previously described range”, researchers said.

“We need to ascertain whether other filoviruses native to Europe exist, and more importantly, if and how it causes disease,” they said. 

PLoS Pathogens 2011; online 20 Oct