© 2014

Bats (Chiroptera) as Vectors of Diseases and Parasites

Facts and Myths

  • Sven Klimpel
  • Heinz Mehlhorn

Part of the Parasitology Research Monographs book series (Parasitology Res. Monogr., volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Heinz Mehlhorn
    Pages 1-5
  3. Volker Walldorf, Heinz Mehlhorn
    Pages 7-24
  4. Christian Melaun, Antje Werblow, Markus Wilhelm Busch, Andrew Liston, Sven Klimpel
    Pages 25-61
  5. Jennifer S. Lord, Darren R. Brooks
    Pages 63-86
  6. Raphael Frank, Julian Münster, Julia Schulze, Andrew Liston, Sven Klimpel
    Pages 87-130
  7. Heinz Mehlhorn
    Pages 157-160
  8. Peter Mario Kreuter, Heinz Schott
    Pages 161-172
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 183-187

About this book


This book gathers contributions by 16 international authors on the phenomenon “bats,” shedding some light on their morphology, the feeding behaviors (insects, fruits, blood) of different groups, their potential and confirmed transmissions of agents of diseases, their endo- and ectoparasites, as well as countless myths surrounding their lifestyle (e.g. vampirism, chupacabras, batman etc.).

Bats have been known in different cultures for several thousand centuries, however their nocturnal activities have made them mysterious and led to many legends and myths, while proven facts remained scarce. Even today, our knowledge of bats remains limited compared to other groups in the animal kingdom. Also, their famous ability to avoid collisions with obstacles during their nightly flights with the help of a sophisticated and unique system using ultrasound waves (which are transmitted and received) is as poorly studied as birds finding their way from continent to continent. In recent times, where globalization transports millions of people and goods from one end of the earth to the other, there are increased risks posed by agents of diseases, as a result of which bats have received increasing attention as potential vectors. These suppositions are based on their proven transmission of viruses such as rabies.

In dedicated chapters, the book addresses the following topics:

• The world of bats

• The astonishing morphology of bats

• Bats as potential reservoir hosts for vector-borne diseases

• Bat endoparasites

• Macroparasites – ectoparasites

• Glimpses into how bats fly

• Blood-licking bats

• Vampirism in medicine and culture

• Chupacabras and “goat milkers”

• Myths on candiru

As such, this book provides a broad range of information for all non-experts interested in biological topics, but also for people working in this field, as well as physicians and veterinarians who are confronted with clinical cases, and for teachers and students interested in expanding their knowledge of biology and of past and present cultures.


Life cycle bacteria bats parasites vectorship viruses

Editors and affiliations

  • Sven Klimpel
    • 1
  • Heinz Mehlhorn
    • 2
  1. 1.Biodiv. and Climate Research CentreGoethe-UniversityFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Department of ZoomorphologyHeinrich Heine UniversityDüsseldorfGermany

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Bats (Chiroptera) as Vectors of Diseases and Parasites
  • Book Subtitle Facts and Myths
  • Editors Sven Klimpel
    Heinz Mehlhorn
  • Series Title Parasitology Research Monographs
  • Series Abbreviated Title Parasitology Research Monographs
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-642-39332-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-662-52351-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-39333-4
  • Series ISSN 2192-3671
  • Series E-ISSN 2192-368X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 187
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 33 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Parasitology
    Medical Microbiology
    Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“From bat biology to parasites of bats to vampirism, this book covers a wide range of topics. The purpose is to share knowledge about different features of bats, including morphology, potential vectorship of infectious diseases, and parasites of bats. The intended audience includes those involved in bat research and public health.” (Adam W. Stern, Doody’s Book Reviews, February, 2014)