Bats are one of the most successful mammalian orders and are likely the most diverse one as well. The more than 1,200 bat species provide an unparalleled exhibition of variations on the mammalian theme and a broad lesson in biology. Moreover, in recent years, bats have gained significant notoriety for being implicated in numerous emerging infectious disease events, including the SARS outbreak ten years ago and the currently MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) endemic in the Middle East.

  Actually, bats are suggested to be important reservoir hosts of many zoonotic viruses that can cross species barriers to infect humans and other domestic or wild mammals, including lyssaviruses, henipaviruses, ebolaviruses, marburgviruses, and coronaviruses. Their ability to fly and social life history enable efficient pathogen maintenance, evolution, and spread. Viruses of bats may be transmitted to humans directly through bites or via exposure to saliva, fecal aerosols, or infected tissues as well as indirectly through contact with infected intermediate hosts, such as swine. Therefore, the study of bat-associated viruses and their emerging potential has been considered increasingly important. It is essential to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the high biodiversity of bats, broad geographical distribution, and the genetic diversity of bat-associated viruses to benefit current and future emerging zoonotic diseases prevention, source-tracking and prediction.

  In recent years, next-generation sequencing methodologies have been used in a number of metagenomics studies dedicated to assessing the virome of bats, and these studies have revealed many known and novel viruses in bat samples. However, the most valuable information, such as the sampling time, location, bats species, and specimen type, is available only sporadically in the related literature or individual sequence record. Obtaining comprehensive information on bat-associated viruses becomes a formidable task.

  The Database of Bat-associated Viruses (DBatVir) was therefore created to facilitate further studies by providing comprehensive, up-to-date, and well-curated information to the scientific community worldwide. By the user-friendly interface and online analytical tools DBatVir devotes to serve as a valuable platform that not only be helpful to virologists who want to better understand the virome diversity of bats, but also be useful to zoologists concerned with the health of domestic and wild animals. Furthermore, this platform is particularly valuable to epidemiologists and public health researchers, as it is beneficial in the monitoring and tracking of current and future bat-related infectious diseases.

  Molecular methods are now commonly used in the diagnosis and functional analyses of viruses; thus, DBatVir is built as a sequence-centric database. The DBatVir database is currently updated bimonthly to provide an overview and snapshot of the current research regarding bat-associated ANIMAL viruses, which is essential now that the field is rapidly expanding.

  Please note the full contents and online tools of DBatVir database are now also available from the ZOVER platform with a largely improved interface. The new platform actually shares the same background dataset of DBatVir database. In addition, it provides a set of online visualization tools for comparative analyses on various zoonotic/vector-borne viruses. Although this interface of DBatVir database will remain publicly accessible for consistency, no further upgrade of the web interface will be available hereafter. Particularly, the statistical charts in DBatVir website were build upon Adobe Flash plugins. However, Adobe ended the support of Flash since 2021, so many modern web browsers disable Adobe Flash currently. Therefore, we highly recommend returning users of the DBatVir database switch to the new web interface of the ZOVER platform in the future.



  Zhou S, Liu B, Han Y, Wang Y, Chen L, Wu Z, Yang J, 2022. ZOVER: the database of zoonotic and vector-borne viruses. Nucleic Acids Res. 50(D1):D943-D949. doi:10.1093/nar/gkab862


  The DBatVir database intends to integrate virological, ecological and epidemiological data to enhance our knowledge of bats as the important reservoir hosts of many zoonotic viruses with significant impact on human and animal health. The information were manually collected from published literatures and records in GenBank database. However, the associated metadata of some sequences, such as the sampling time, location, bat species, specimen type and etc, are missing currently. Therefore, we are grateful to the original authors to help us to complete or correct the related information collected in the database by sending feedback to Dr. Jian Yang.


  This work was supported by the National Major Science and Technology Project and Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University of China. We would like to thank ViralZone for granting us to use the wonderful virion pictures.