In Phucket, Thailand, BOHRN (Bat One Health Research Network) convened to discuss solutions for creating improved health security, research collaboration and advancement in the study of bats and bat borne illnesses. In an effort led by The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), BOHRN has worked to assemble the top researchers in multiple fields with the hopes of creating a multi-disciplined baseline for research. Animal/human spillover is an extremely important issue to the health and security of us all. Scientists believe the first cases of the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak originated in children playing in a bat roost in Guinea. The overall interactions of humans and bats is one that continues to be the forefront of emerging diseases. To fully understand the relationship of humans and bats and how our worlds collide, it takes the combined efforts of epidemiologists, virologists, taxonomists and a host of other experts in their fields coming together to speak a common language in the interest of scientific advancement.
The meeting was held in Phucket, Thailand an area that is very familiar in its habitats for bats and bat research. The overall theme of the conference was to discuss the research data and what is the best way to standardize the language between disciplines. It is the beginning of a greater discussion into figuring out how top minds in different fields can share data in a digestible and understandable format, one that creates effective and immediate results. While the study of different species of bats has been around for a while there are many different challenges, intergovernmentally, globally and scientifically, that has prevented a free flow of knowledge across the field. BOHRN is determined to start addressing these challenges and come up with solutions that enhance overall impact of One Health networks in the interest of globalized science and research in an ever-changing and fascinating world.