Bats are increasingly recognized as reservoirs of emerging zoonotic pathogens, such as lyssaviruses, paramyxoviruses, coronaviruses, filoviruses and other. Although the significance of bats as reservoirs of zoonotic diseases in the Caucasus region is unknown, we do know that West Caucasian bat virus circulates in Miniopterus schreibersii bats in the region.
The same bat species was recently implicated as reservoir of a novel filovirus in Spain. Furthermore, other bat species that maintain circulation of European bat lyssaviruses, paramyxoviruses and coronaviruses in different parts of Europe are present in Caucasus. The goal of study was to initiate surveillance of bats for these and other pathogens of public health and veterinary significance. Surveillance was initiated in 5 region of Georgia during June, 2012. 236 bats of 8 species including Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (29), Myotis blythii (75), Myotis emarginatus (42), Eptesicus serotinus (20), Pipistrellus pygmaeus (13), Rhinolophus eureale (29), Miniopterus screibersii (29). Myotis mistacinus (1), were sampled randomly from different roosts, manually or using nets. The numbers of species per roots were approved by expert zoologists, to avoid harmful consequences for bat populations. All bats revealed negative result for rabies.