Life Lines

White Nose Syndrome – Revisited

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Image: US Geological Survey

You may recall a recent post on white nose syndrome in bats. Check out this YouTube video for an overview of this devastating syndrome.

Here is an update on the progress of researchers studying the fungus:

It turns out that the fungus is lethal to bats in America but harmless to those in Europe. It is suspected that clues to this difference lie within the genome of the fungus. The genome for each strain has now been sequenced by Jeffrey Foster from Northern Arizona University and colleagues. They found that the two strains are almost identical with a few mutational differences. Studies are currently underway by Craig Willis at the University of Winnepeg in Manitoba to assess whether both strains are capable of causing white nose syndrome. Stay tuned for more updates as research on this devastating fungus continues…