WNS in Europe

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WNS in Europe

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Jun 26, 2014 3:25 pm

Can someone direct me to an article or thread in this forum discussing any recent updates regarding WNS in European caves?

For the record, I am not looking to start any commotion or drama of the sort. I heard someone make a statement regarding declining WNS numbers in Europe and wanted to see if it was accurate. Just some personal research.

Thanks
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Re: WNS in Europe

Postby driggs » Jun 30, 2014 10:48 pm

DawgsgoCaving wrote:I heard someone make a statement regarding declining WNS numbers in Europe and wanted to see if it was accurate.


There are no "declining WNS numbers" in Europe because there is no WNS in Europe.

The P.d. fungus is pervasive across caves and bats throughout Europe, but the disease - characterized by mass bat mortality - has not been observed outside North America.

That said, Pikula et al 2012 documented "geomycosis" (WNS as defined by histopathology) in two dead and one live Myotis myotis in the Czech Republic. A followup study by Zukal et al 2014 documented geomycosis in a total of 10 European bat species but note "there have been no apparent population changes attributable to the disease in Europe".

In other words, the fungus is there, and it does affect European bats, even fatally; but, as hypothesized in Wibbelt et al 2010, European bats are significantly more resistant to the fungus because they co-evolved together, while North American bats did not. Therefore WNS as we know it - a disease causing mass mortality in bats - does not exist in Europe.

References:

Wibbelt G, Kurth A, Hellmann D, Weishaar M, Barlow A, Veith M, et al. (2010) White-nose syndrome fungus (Geomyces destructans) in bats, Europe. Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases: August 2010, Vol. 16, No. 8.

Jiri Pikula, Hana Bandouchova, Ladislav Novotný, Carol U. Meteyer, Jan Zukal, Nancy R. Irwin, Jan Zima, and Natália Martínková (2012) Histopathology Confirms White-Nose Syndrome in Bats in Europe. Journal of Wildlife Diseases: January 2012, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 207-211.

Zukal J, Bandouchova H, Bartonicka T, Berkova H, Brack V, et al. (2014) White-Nose Syndrome Fungus: A Generalist Pathogen of Hibernating Bats. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97224.
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Re: WNS in Europe

Postby DawgsgoCaving » Jul 1, 2014 9:56 pm

Thank you very much for clearing that up for me, David. I greatly appreciate it.
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