miércoles, 30 de diciembre de 2009

White-nose syndrome fungus (Geomyces destructans) in bat, France

DOI: 10.3201/eid1602.091391
Suggested citation for this article: Puechmaille SJ, Verdeyroux P, Fuller H, Ar Gouilh M, Bekaert M, Teeling EC. White-nose syndrome fungus (Geomyces destructans) in bat, France. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Feb; [Epub ahead of print]

White-Nose Syndrome Fungus (Geomyces destructans) in Bat, France
Sébastien J. Puechmaille, Pascal Verdeyroux, Hubert Fuller, Meriadeg Ar Gouilh, Michaël Bekaert, and Emma C. Teeling

Author affiliations:
University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland (S.J. Puechmaille, H. Fuller, M. Bekaert, E.C. Teeling); Groupe Chiroptères Aquitaine, Erdoia, France (P. Verdeyroux); and Institut Pasteur, Paris, France (M. Ar Gouilh)

White-nose syndrome is caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans and is responsible for the deaths of >1,000,000 bats since 2006. This disease and fungus had been restricted to the northeastern United States. We detected this fungus in a bat with this disease in France and assessed the implications of this finding.
Biologists are struggling to understand a recent emerging infectious disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS) (1), which potentially threatens >20% of all mammalian diversity (bats) (2). WNS is a deadly epidemic that has swept through the northeastern United States over the past 3 years and caused the death of >1,000,000 bats, with decreases of ≈100% in some populations (3).

This disease is associated with hibernating, cave-roosting bats. A visually conspicuous white fungus grows on the face, ears, or wings of stricken bats; infiltration of the hyphae into membranes and tissues leads to severe damage (4). Bats that exhibit WNS have little or no fat reserves, which are essential for their survival throughout and after hibernation (5). The fungus associated with WNS is a newly described, psychrophilic (cold-loving) species (Geomyces destructans) (6). It is closely related to G. pannorum, which causes skin infections in humans (7).

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