Publication details

Hibernation temperature-dependent Pseudogymnoascus destructans infection intensity in Palearctic bats

Authors

MARTÍNKOVÁ Natália PIKULA Jiri ZUKAL Jan KOVACOVA Veronika BANDOUCHOVA Hana BARTONIČKA Tomáš BOTVINKIN Alexander BRICHTA Jiří DUNDAROVA Heliana KOKUREWICZ Tomasz IRWIN Nancy LINHART Petr ORLOV Oleg PIACEK Vladimir ŠKRABÁNEK Pavel TIUNOV Mikhail ZAHRADNÍKOVÁ Alexandra

Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Virulence
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Citation
Web Full Text
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21505594.2018.1548685
Keywords Chiroptera; fungal load fuzzy regression histopathology thermal preference white-nose syndrome
Description White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans that is devastating to Nearctic bat populations but tolerated by Palearctic bats. Temperature is a factor known to be important for fungal growth and bat choice of hibernation. Here we investigated the effect of temperature on the pathogenic fungal growth in the wild across the Palearctic. We modelled body surface temperature of bats with respect to fungal infection intensity and disease severity and were able to relate this to the mean annual surface temperature at the site. Bats that hibernated at lower temperatures had less fungal growth and fewer skin lesions on their wings. Contrary to expectation derived from laboratory P. destructans culture experiments, natural infection intensity peaked between 5 and 6°C and decreased at warmer hibernating temperature. We made predictive maps based on bat species distributions, temperature and infection intensity and disease severity data to determine not only where P. destructans will be found but also where the infection will be invasive to bats across the Palearctic. Together these data highlight the mechanistic model of the interplay between environmental and biological factors, which determine progression in a wildlife disease.