Host, pathogen, and environmental characteristics predict white-nose syndrome mortality in captive little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus)

  • Published source details Johnson J.S., Reeder D.M., McMichael J.W. III, Meierhofer M.B., Stern D.W.F., Lumadue S.S., Sigler L.E., Winters H.D., Vodzak M.E., Kurta A., Kath J.A. & Field K.A. (2014) Host, pathogen, and environmental characteristics predict white-nose syndrome mortality in captive little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus). PLoS ONE, 9, e112502


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Modify bat hibernacula environments to increase bat survival

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Modify bat hibernacula environments to increase bat survival

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2013–2014 in a laboratory in Pennsylvania, USA (Johnson et al. 2014) found that bats infected with the white-nose syndrome fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans were more likely to survive and stayed in hibernation for longer when placed in hibernation chambers at 4°C than at 10°C. A greater proportion of bats infected with the white-nose syndrome survived during hibernation at 4°C (43–67% of 14–15 bats) than at 10°C (7–53% of 14–15 bats). Infected bats also stayed in torpor for longer at 4°C (average 9–12 days) than at 10°C (6–7 days). For uninfected control bats, no significant differences were found between the two temperatures for survival (4°C: 80% of 14–15 bats survived; 10°C: 57% of 14–15 bats survived) or hibernation duration (4°C: average 13 days; 10°C: 11 days). In November 2013, 147 hibernating little brown bats Myotis lucifugus were collected from two mines. Bats were randomly placed into five groups for each of the two temperature treatments (4°C and 10°C; total 14–15 bats/group). Four groups were inoculated with different amounts of the white-nose syndrome fungus (500, 5,000, 50,000, or 500,000 spores). One control group was inoculated with a harmless saline solution. All bats were fitted with temperature dataloggers and placed within flight cages with internal chambers set to 4°C or 10°C (and ≤90% relative humidity) for 148 days.

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