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Brazilian Vampire Bats Are Now Feasting On Human Blood


Is there a report or information showing that alive people have been bitten?
Have these people been tested?


" While they collected 70 guano samples, only 15 of those provided DNA and 3 out of that smaller batch showed traces of human blood "

A species of vampire bat that was thought to feed only on birds has developed a taste for human 
blood, according to a report published recently in the journal Acta Chiropterologica. The discovery raises some major health concerns, as the bats are known to carry rabies.

Three different species of vampire bat are known to rely exclusively on blood for their diet. Of these, Desmodus rotundus and Diaemus youngi are considered to be relatively unfussy eaters, and will slurp from the veins of many different types of animal. Diphylla ecaudata, on the other hand, has a rather more particular palate, and had until now been thought to feed only on the fat-laden blood of wild birds, while shunning protein-rich mammalian blood.

Yet when researchers analyzed the DNA in the poop of D. ecaudata in Catimbau National Park in northern Brazil, they discovered human blood in three of their 15 samples. Not only is this the first time that the bats have been found to be feeding on people, but it curiously contradicts previous studies that suggested the bats would rather starve than drink the blood of mammals.
In one study, the creatures continually refused the blood of cattle when offered it in the absence of any birds to feed on, with some even starving to death.

The results of this research indicate that the bats are in fact more versatile in their feeding capabilities than previously thought, while also highlighting the impact that human encroachment is having on the animals’ habitat.

With the number of settlements in the park having increased in recent years, deforestation and hunting is destroying wild bird populations. In response, the bats are having to seek out alternative food sources, and are thought to be feeding mainly on people sleeping outside in hammocks, while also sneaking into open windows to bite people in their beds – just like real vampires.

Blood-feeding is one of the most specialized foraging habits, as it demands extreme morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations. Three species of vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus,Diaemus youngi, and Diphylla ecaudata) rely on blood as their only food. The first two are considered less specialized, whereas D. ecaudata is frequently pointed out as a bird-specialist. We assessed what prey D. ecaudata consumes in the Caatinga dry forests of northeastern Brazil, a highly modified biome. How the species would behave in a situation of scarcity of wild birds and increase in the availability of domestic animals? Could Diphylla have been induced to include also mammals in its diet? Using PCR-amplification of DNA fragments in the feces of D. ecaudata, we detected the regular consumption of chicken blood and human blood — a novel prey for this species. Our results suggest that the diet of D. ecaudata is more flexible than expected. The record of humans as prey and the absence of blood from native species may reflect a low availability of wild birds in the study site, reinforcing the impact of human activities on local ecological processes. This also opens a range of research possibilities on vampire bats in the Caatinga, both on the species' biology and the consequences for public health, considering the potential increase in the transmission of rabies in the region.

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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Brazilian Vampire Bats Are Now Feasting On Human Blood
Brazilian Vampire Bats Are Now Feasting On Human Blood
Brazilian Vampire Bats Are Now Feasting On Human Blood
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