Do Cavers spread White Nose Syndrome?

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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby BrianC » Jan 28, 2011 2:56 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:batgirl, I have stopped beating that dead horse with Brian. if someone refuses to accept that the world is round then all the evidence in the world (no pun intended) doesnt matter. :big grin:

I do disagree with you on a few points. While the Theory of human transmission is possible, it isnt just a case of no proof either way. Its a case of having compelling if circumstantial evidence it doesn't happen, or at best doesnt happen enough to matter. We know bats are killed by automobile strikes. We know the odds are better at night and in forested areas near water. But because we cant prove the level of impact, because we cant ever accurately measure the number of strikes, we have absolutely no policy on nightime driving in bat foraging areas.

Yet, with even less data these agencies are making drastic decisions regarding WNS. The scapegoat of regulatory responsibility only goes so far. The case can be made that you would have to outlaw pesticides and wind turbines along with night time drivng. Those agencies are required to make reasonable and prudent efforts and in all cases there are loopholes.

I have worked for many years in state and federal government and have come to see there is exactly 1 effective way to promote change. persistent and consistent confrontation. everything else is a lot of effort for virtually no gain. I might add this is EXACTLY the reason the CBD was formed. They were agency folks who got tired of not being able to effect change because if your in the system you cant generally confront it.

Skirting the issue here with sarcasm is the only approach I seem to see coming from people that don't want to believe the truth. My facts are based on real fact, you won't see this unless your mind is open to truth.. Now it seems that you have given credence to the CBD? Wow! I have found that every human has concern for our environment, but that concern has been used by the CBD for power grabbing of properties and laws to control as much property from private owners and public users as possible. They don't believe in private property rights and they will use our tax grabbing government to do it for them. If you want change, be persistent and consistent is correct, then maybe we can get our caves back. We will be doing the right thing.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby Batgirl » Jan 28, 2011 3:05 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:
I do disagree with you on a few points. While the Theory of human transmission is possible, it isnt just a case of no proof either way. Its a case of having compelling if circumstantial evidence it doesn't happen, or at best doesnt happen enough to matter. We know bats are killed by automobile strikes. We know the odds are better at night and in forested areas near water. But because we cant prove the level of impact, because we cant ever accurately measure the number of strikes, we have absolutely no policy on nightime driving in bat foraging areas.


I do realize this. Was just trying to simplify for sake of argument. Apparently I failed. :laughing:

Yet, with even less data these agencies are making drastic decisions regarding WNS. The scapegoat of regulatory responsibility only goes so far. The case can be made that you would have to outlaw pesticides and wind turbines along with night time drivng. Those agencies are required to make reasonable and prudent efforts and in all cases there are loopholes.

I have worked for many years in state and federal government and have come to see there is exactly 1 effective way to promote change. persistent and consistent confrontation. everything else is a lot of effort for virtually no gain. I might add this is EXACTLY the reason the CBD was formed. They were agency folks who got tired of not being able to effect change because if your in the system you cant generally confront it.


I agree. But we can't effect change by acting or responding negatively or turning our backs on the problem. We have to face it head on and deal with the issues as they arise. Real compromise never results in both sides winning. Public/private partnerships are a relatively new concept to government. They are so used to making decisions inside their own box and no one challenging those decisions. But today, we live in a world where knowledge can be obtained instantaneously and people are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the government and are becoming more active in its decisions. The growing pains are going to be tough for both sides and change won't happen over night.

I know this sounds corny, but I really try to live by this motto: We have to be the change want to see in the world.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 28, 2011 3:32 pm

batgirl,

"I agree. But we can't effect change by acting or responding negatively"

I would argue thats the way MOST change at the government level does in fact happen. Gay Marriage wasn't legalized because those who desired it had buddy buddy dialog with lawmakers. The MARCHED and threatned, and and essentially made sure that those lawmakers who opposed their desires got faced with a lot of negativity. Those against Gay Marriage did the same. The reason things are so inconsistent is that in some places one side or the other has used more negativity :)
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby tncaver » Jan 28, 2011 3:44 pm

It is my feeling that government agencies are the ones who have been acting negatively (also the CBD). However, I think Brian C is doing a great job of pointing out facts while others continue to twist those facts for their own agendas. I have been criticized for stressing common sense. However, scientific data can
be twisted toward the advantage of the one who is presenting that data. I suggest that both science and common sense should be used to make decisions that affect thousands of people. Especially when the results presented are contested by a large portion of the stakeholders.
Last edited by tncaver on Jan 28, 2011 4:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby BrianC » Jan 28, 2011 4:03 pm

Complacency here in America has allowed idiots to gain power and control in government. We were happy with the status qwoe. This is starting to change only because the controllers have stepped on one to many feet. If great caves like Camps Gulf are going to be righteously reopened, people will need to speak up against false pretenses that are being used to close them, and demand sound reasoning. If spores can't be grown in labs without contact with another infected bat,then the spores alone aren't going to spread WNS. Can anyone provide facts that prove otherwise? Have spores been grown into WNS fungus in any laboratory condition where WNS infected bats have not been?
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 28, 2011 6:44 pm

Brian,

The answer to your question is yes. G.D. spores have been grown into fungus in labs without using infected bats.

It's not easy and the fungus requires fairly tight requirements, but it has and continues to be done. They are grown in petri dishes.

This of course does not mean that spores can succcessfully travel and thrive by being carried on cavers gear out in the real world....and most observation seems to imply they aren't.....but in theory at least they could.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby tncaver » Jan 28, 2011 7:20 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:Brian,

The answer to your question is yes. G.D. spores have been grown into fungus in labs without using infected bats.

It's not easy and the fungus requires fairly tight requirements, but it has and continues to be done. They are grown in petri dishes.

This of course does not mean that spores can succcessfully travel and thrive by being carried on cavers gear out in the real world....and most observation seems to imply they aren't.....but in theory at least they could.


Thank you for clarifying that wyandottecaver. What you said seems to be what biologists and DNR's can't seem to understand.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby BrianC » Jan 29, 2011 10:31 am

wyandottecaver wrote:Brian,

The answer to your question is yes. G.D. spores have been grown into fungus in labs without using infected bats.

It's not easy and the fungus requires fairly tight requirements, but it has and continues to be done. They are grown in petri dishes.



Please! Please! give me some reference to this. As I am not familiar with any successful test to date.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby BrianC » Jan 29, 2011 2:21 pm

BrianC wrote:
wyandottecaver wrote:Brian,

The answer to your question is yes. G.D. spores have been grown into fungus in labs without using infected bats.

It's not easy and the fungus requires fairly tight requirements, but it has and continues to be done. They are grown in petri dishes.



Please! Please! give me some reference to this. As I am not familiar with any successful test to date.


Still waiting? Any one that can provide this information, please chime on in!
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby PYoungbaer » Jan 29, 2011 3:11 pm

Brian,

As others have said, it's done all the time. Here's just one study as an example. It shows not only that it is difficult, and describes the specifics, but shows how the researchers overcame the difficulties, too:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Ad ... ne.0010783

Scroll down a little to the paragraph "fungal isolations."
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby BrianC » Jan 29, 2011 3:41 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:Brian,

As others have said, it's done all the time. Here's just one study as an example. It shows not only that it is difficult, and describes the specifics, but shows how the researchers overcame the difficulties, too:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Ad ... ne.0010783

Scroll down a little to the paragraph "fungal isolations."


I don't see other than from the fungus directly from bat tissue. I am looking for isolated spores that have been grown without direct infected bat contact. Find this for me please.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby PYoungbaer » Jan 29, 2011 3:48 pm

Batgirl wrote:Actually Brian, you are wrong. It is possible for humans to spread the spores (as far we know). Laboratory tests prove that they can be transferred from the cave environment to our gear to the lab and from the cave environment to the bat. However, there have been no real world human to bat transmission tests done and therefore no proof that transmission under normal conditions can occur. No testing, means no proof one way or another, which means the theory is still plausible. I really wish you would quit this circular argument. it gets us nowhere. We must deal with the situation as it is and find ways to work together for the betterment of us all and the bats.


Let's be extremely specific here. Only one unpublished report, by NYDEC's Joe Okoniewski, showed that he was able to culture viable Geomyces destructans from a cave pack. Here, once again, is the reference to his abstract, presented in Pittsburgh last May; scroll to page 17.
http://www.fws.gov/WhiteNoseSyndrome/pdf/AbstractsofPresentedPapersandPostersFor.pdf

Similarly, it wasn't laboratory tests, but a field experiment, that demonstrated that bats could get WNS from the environment. It was also presented at Pittsburgh, so using the same link above, scroll to page 12. This study is also unpublished. There were a number of questions raised about methodologies, but non-infected bats did get WNS. So, at least in this one study, the environment was able to sustain viable fungus from the spring until the fall without host bats. Whether or not there was decaying matter is undetermined, and how long such viability would last is also undetermined.

That is really it in terms of research, although both these studies are frequently cited by agencies, cavers, and the media to buttress opinions and management actions.

However, there is good news. It's actually old news, but people don't seem to be aware that it's going on. We did post the announcements back in October, but here they are again:
http://www.caves.org/WNS/USFWS%20$1.6M%20Grants.pdf and
http://www.caves.org/WNS/USFWS%202010%20Grants.pdf
One of the six major grants awarded by the USFWS in October, from the funds we lobbied Congress for, went to Dr. Hazel Barton for a project entitled, "Natural history of Geomyces in cave environments: phylogeny, ecosystem activities, natural and anthropogenic transport," and is funded in the amount of $271,182.

The three major topics the research will address are:
1. The timing and dynamics of Geomyces destructans transmission;
2. Does fungal growth/occurrence vary with hibernacula, and why?; and
3. How long can the fungus remain viable under environmental conditions?

These are interrelated questions. Understanding the structure of the fungus - how it
might attach and be transported - should help identify high risk activities and
solutions. But, even if physical transport is possible, the growth cycle and nutritional
needs of the fungus, and the environmental conditions necessary to support the fungus
also need to be favorable for disease transmission to occur.

In terms of transmission, Hazel will be looking at the structure of the fungus itself
(e.g. curved conidia, vs. straight), and how it attaches to materials - natural (rock,
clay), skin, hair, and clothing and equipment. These will be collected and tested, after
natural washing and other methods of cleaning.

She will also look specifically at how well people pick up spores in different
environments. Recreational cavers and their equipment, tourist visitors to show caves,
bat researchers handling bats, mist nets, and researchers at known WNS-infected sites.

Materials from all of these people will be collected, processed, and analyzed.
Comparison of normal collection of Geomyces spp., that is, people doing "normal"
activities, to the WNS control site, along with survivability studies, should
conclusively determine whether the anthropomorphic spread of WNS is possible and/or
likely. It should also inform about risky behaviors, such as reuse or non-cleaning of
research equipment and supplies or cave equipment between caves.

I won't elaborate on the other portions of this study, nor get into the specific
analytical technologies, as they are proprietary, but I think you can see that the detailed work on possible human transmission needs to be understood in the context of fungal growth and environmental
viability to get the fuller picture.

This project will take hundreds of samples, collected from a wide geographic area of the
country, and run thousands of analytic tests. It's a two-year project. The results
should answer a lot of questions and should bring a far higher level of sophistication to
disease management than we have today.

This is the first major study specifically intended to focus on human transmission potential in the context of understanding what it takes for this fungus to move, take hold, grow, and colonize. While it won't provide answers tomorrow, it should help us get off the do we or don't we merry-go-round and answer several long-standing questions.
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby PYoungbaer » Jan 29, 2011 3:58 pm

Brian ?????? I don't understand what you are asking. The only place that anyone has ever found this fungus is on a bat (or next to an infected one) - with the one exception of Joe Okoniewski culturing it from spores from his cave pack used in a WNS site. It was a previously undescribed fungus, meaning no one had ever seen it before. It's taken off the bats, isolated, and grown in the lab. Please clarify your question.

P.S. We are way :off topic: for the Expeditions Forum. This probably belongs on the WNS Do Cavers Spread White Nose Syndrome topic
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Re: Camps Gulf

Postby BrianC » Jan 29, 2011 4:25 pm

PYoungbaer wrote:Brian ?????? I don't understand what you are asking. The only place that anyone has ever found this fungus is on a bat (or next to an infected one) - with the one exception of Joe Okoniewski culturing it from spores from his cave pack used in a WNS site. It was a previously undescribed fungus, meaning no one had ever seen it before. It's taken off the bats, isolated, and grown in the lab. Please clarify your question.

P.S. We are way :off topic: for the Expeditions Forum. This probably belongs on the WNS Do Cavers Spread White Nose Syndrome topic
You have answered my question Peter, Thank You! I had read some about this report, but I didn't know that the spores found from this pack had been cultured. I digress
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Re: Do Cavers spread White Nose Syndrome?

Postby NZcaver » Jan 29, 2011 5:12 pm

I moved the last page or so of replies from the Camps Gulf topic into this one, and deleted a duplicate post by Peter.
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