One of the Professor Chair Holders of IPB: the Unique of Bats, They are Perfect Reservoir Species for Infectious Diseases but Do not Get Sick


Morphophysiology is also called the functional anatomy of the basic science of veterinary medicine that studies the anatomy in its relation to the shape and function of organ systems and their relationship with the processes of regulation, behaviour and environment. Morphophysiological studies are essential in providing a more complete and comprehensive knowledge of animals. Like its nature, behaviour, animal breeding, physiology and regulation of organ system, to the mechanism of disease, and its adaptive immune resistance.

An example of the application of morphophysiology in supporting infectious disease-related research is the study of the potential of bats as a source of disease. Bats have been identified as an important reservoir of zoonotic viruses belonging to a range of different virus families including SARS-Coronavirus, Rabies virus, Hendra virus, Nipah virus, Marburg virus, and Japanese encephalitis. Unique amongst mammals, bats, of the order Chiroptera, although bats contains many viruses in their bodies,  however, interestingly bats do not get sick or show signs of disease from these viruses. They are the only ones capable of sustained and powered flight. This was stated by Professor Chair Holder of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of  (FKH IPB), Prof. Dr. Drh. Srihadi Agungpriyono,  in his press conference at IPB Campus, Dramaga, Bogor, prior his scientific oration, on 3 August 2017.

Prof. Srihadi who is also Dean of IPB FKH said this uniqueness is allegedly closely related to the morphophysiology,  disease causing organisms that trigger an immune response of bats. Pathogens can move to other bats, other animals or humans through body fluids, such as saliva, attached to the rest of the fruit eaten, through the body excreta (urine and feces) and through direct contact.

In addition, the ability to fly a bat to reach a distant area can make the virus attacks become more widespread. They often live in large colonies or roosts, are able to travel considerable distances and they enjoy remarkable longevity for their body size. Human activities, such as deforestation, are increasing interactions between bats, humans, and livestock, thereby increasing the opportunities for zoonotic spill-over. For these reasons, bats present a significant potential source of emerging infectious diseases.

"In Indonesia, scientific data to prove that bats are natural reservoir hosts and sources of infection for several microorganisms, including pathogens that can cause severe human diseases, and are more frequently implicated in zoonotic virus emergencies are very few. In telemetry studies, we installed a transmitter to monitor the direction and distance of the bat, observed bats had flown from Sukabumi to Flores island (2,250 kilometers) in two days. What is interesting is Sukabumi and Flores are rabies infected regions in Indonesia," he said.

Therefore, early detection of zoonotic diseases is very important. The role of veterinarians and morphophysiological studies is important to explore early scientific information on animals as the source of the disease.

"We cooperative work program with Japanese scientists to conduct a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind, cross-disciplinary study, combining morphophysiology, behavioral, ecological, epidemiological, pathological and virological studies at a more molecular level to the genome of bats. The goal is to study the potential and risks and identification of the types of viruses in Indonesian bat, "he explained.

Through this partnership program, IPB is now having  BSL-3 laboratory, where  junior lecturers apply next-generation sequencing to isolate viruses through tissue culture system, as well as to identify viruses using highly sensitive nucleotide sequencing and new virus detection technologies. 

"With the qualified human resources and BSL-3 lab facilities, IPB is able to conduct research on zoonotic and potentially zoonotic pathogens in Indonesia with advanced detection methods, sophisticated and safe," he said. (Wied)



Published Date : 11-Aug-2017

Subject : Prof. Dr. drh. Srihadi Agungpriyono

Keyword : One of the Professor Chair Holders of IPB: the Unique of Bats, They are Perfect Reservoir Species for Infectious Diseases but Do not Get Sick