“Bats act as reservoirs for over 200 viruses, many of which cause severe, often life-threatening, diseases in humans, livestock and wildlife.”

Bats and Viruses

A recent (January 2020) publication from Caister Academic Press suggests that research into the molecular and cellular biology of virus-host interactions may be key to development of strategies for prevention of bat-borne zoonotic infections.

No doubt, the recent COVID-19 pandemic will create new and greater needs for laboratory based research with bats.

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Bat Husbandry and Housing

Information on the care and use of laboratory bats is…well…sparse.

Working with current customers that are actually using bats in the lab, we have learned that:

  • Housing should be “cavernous”. I.e., a fairly large volume to allow decent flight behaviors.
  • Smaller mesh sizes are needed for animal safety and for grasping by small hands.
  • Minimize gaps and spaces where wings and appendages might get caught.
  • Large personnel entries to allow hand and/or net capture.

Based on our bat customer inputs, we are focused on a 24-square foot enclosure.

We made it “break-apart” to simplify husbandry and safety. Each half will fit in typical cage/rack washers and autoclaves. Minimal internal obstructions ensure good contact of internal surfaces by cage wash spray patterns.

We hope this cage will be a valuable tool in the battle against COVID-19, and, the prevention of future bat-borne illnesses.