Inoculation of bats with European Geomyces destructans supports the novel pathogen hypothesis for the origin of white-nose syndrome

Product Type: 

Journal Article

Year: 

2012

Author(s): 

Warnecke, L., J. M. Turner, T.K. Bollinger, J.M. Lorch, V. Misra, P.M. Cryan, G. Wibbelt, D.S. Blehert, and C.K.R. Willis

Suggested Citation: 

Warnecke, L., J. M. Turner, T.K. Bollinger, J.M. Lorch, V. Misra, P.M. Cryan, G. Wibbelt, D.S. Blehert, and C.K.R. Willis. 2012. Inoculation of bats with European Geomyces destructans supports the novel pathogen hypothesis for the origin of white-nose syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 5.

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emerging disease of hibernating bats associated with cutaneous infection by the fungus Geomyces destructans (Gd), and responsible for devastating declines of bat populations in eastern North America. Affected bats appear emaciated and one hypothesis is that they spend too much time out of torpor during hibernation, depleting vital fat reserves required to survive the winter. The fungus has also been found at low levels on bats throughout Europe but without mass mortality. This finding suggests that Gd is either native to both continents but has been rendered more pathogenic in North America by mutation or environmental change, or that it recently arrived in North America as an invader from Europe. Thus, a causal link between Gd and mortality has not been established and the reason for its high pathogenicity in North America is unknown...