The Developing Story of Bat White-nose Syndrome
The fungi are angry. First it was the frogs, then it was the bats. Are humans next?
Fungal Disease and the Developing Story of Bat White-nose Syndrome. (2012) PLoS Pathog 8(7): e1002779. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002779
Two recently emerged cutaneous fungal diseases of wildlife, bat white-nose syndrome (WNS) and amphibian chytridiomycosis, have devastated affected populations. Fungal diseases are gaining recognition as significant causes of morbidity and mortality to plants, animals, and humans, yet fewer than 10% of fungal species are known. Furthermore, limited antifungal therapeutic drugs are available, antifungal therapeutics often have associated toxicity, and there are no approved antifungal vaccines. The unexpected emergence of WNS, the rapidity with which it has spread, and its unprecedented severity demonstrate both the impacts of novel fungal disease upon naïve host populations and challenges to effective management of such diseases.