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Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology

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Abstract

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is causing unprecedented declines in several species of North American bats. The characteristic lesions of WNS are caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, which erodes and replaces the living skin of bats while they hibernate. It is unknown how this infection kills the bats. We review here the unique physiological importance of wings to hibernating bats in relation to the damage caused by G. destructans and propose that mortality is caused by catastrophic disruption of wing-dependent physiological functions. Mechanisms of disease associated with G. destructans seem specific to hibernating bats and are most analogous to disease caused by chytrid fungus in amphibians.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Wing pathology of white-nose syndrome in bats suggests life-threatening disruption of physiology
Volume
8
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
BioMed Central
Publisher location:
London, UK
Contributing office(s):
National Wildlife Health Center
Description:
8 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
BMC Biology
First page:
135
Country:
North America
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N