Index - Tech-Science - Gabor Kiminesi searches for one of the world's deadliest viruses in Bangladesh

Index – Tech-Science – Gabor Kiminesi searches for one of the world’s deadliest viruses in Bangladesh

Hungarian virologists have tested a method in Bangladesh to stop epidemics. The Nipah virus, which is spread through the urine of fruit-eating bats, is fatal to about 70 percent of those infected.

László Kemenesi, a virologist, assistant professor at the University of Pécs, an employee of the National Laboratory of Virology and a doctoral student Endre Gábor Tóth, has spent a month in the country with their mobile lab from the end of December.

Specialists, dressed in protective clothing, spread special chips under the trees at the sites where bats, which have a wingspan of about a meter, sleep, and collect their urine and guano.

The virus is secreted into the environment by the urine of bats, and the method of transmission from person to person is not yet fully understood, but all that is known is that close contact will be the key. This is why it hasn’t caused large-scale epidemics like the coronavirus, said Gabor Kimenesi.

Their method was able to detect the presence of the virus

Hungarian researchers have tested a method in practice that can not only stop the spread of the epidemic, but also be proactive against the virus. Using a mobile laboratory developed in Hungary, the presence of the virus can be detected on site within three hours, and its genome sequenced within another six hours.

Their work makes it possible to monitor bat colonies quickly and reliably, so that effective measures can be taken to prevent people from becoming infected. The order of the samples is important because tracking genetic changes in the virus is of great help in vaccine development.

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(24 h)

(Cover photo: Gábor Kemenesi. Photo: Tamas Suki / Index)

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