June 14, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Iowa: Low-Level Detection of Fungus Dangerous to Bats Prompts Additional Precautions at Maquoketa Caves

Efforts to prevent the spread of a fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats will be stepped up after a low level of the fungus was detected on a hibernating big brown bat at Maquoketa Caves State Park.

The detection of the fungus came from a swab taken during sampling on the hibernating bats in March. The testing is used to detect DNA that would indicate the presence of the fungus (Geomyces destructans) that causes white-nose syndrome, which has been deadly for bats particularly in the northeastern portions of the United States and Canada. The testing was done as part of a national study being conducted in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

White-Nose Syndrome.org - whitenosesyndrome.org
13 Jun 2012
Location: Maquoketa Caves State Park - Map It

Other White Nose Syndrome News

Dozens of dolphins stranded in Texas since fall

The deaths of more than 120 dolphins off the Texas coast has prompted a federal agency to declare the event "unusual" and launch an investigation into whether they were related to a drought-related algae bloom or a more widespread mortality event that has plagued the northern Gulf of Mexico for two years.

The Seattle Times - seattletime.com
12 June 2012
R Plushnick

Butterflies And Bats Aid In Research About Infectious Diseases

... With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Altizer and her team study how animal behavior, including long distance migration, affects the spread and evolution of infectious disease. In monarchs, the researchers study a protozoan parasite called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, or “OE” for short.

Red Orbit - wwwredorbit.com
11 Jun 2012
M O'Brien

Culling vampire bats is for suckers, says study

Killing vampire bats in a bid to curtail the spread of rabies to humans and livestock may make the problem worse, scientists said Wednesday.

The practice of "vampiricide" in which a poisonous paste is applied to captured animals who spread it to others in mutual grooming back in the roost, does not reduce rabies prevalence, they contend. It may, in fact, increase it.

... The researchers theorised that bats repeatedly exposed to rabies may develop immunity to the disease. "Vampiricide" would be effective at killing these immune, adult bats but perhaps not juveniles, which are unlikely to groom older bats.
"When you kill off the adult bats that may be immune, you're making space for susceptible juvenile bats," said Streicker.

Google News - www.google.com/hostednews (Source: Associated Press)
12 June 2012

Cited Journal Article

  • Tassie devil mystery deepens [The degree of genetic difference to a tumour is not a factor in Tasmanian devils contracting the facial tumour disease, according to research led by the University of Sydney]
Marine Mammal Mortality News
West Nile Virus News
Huh?! That's Interesting!

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