Northern Kentucky University

Poster Title

White Nose Syndrome in Bats: Study 2: (Shelley) Inhibition of White Nose Syndrome in Hibernating Bat Colonies: Identification of Antifungal Agents

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

Since it first appeared in 2006, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) has been devastating bat populations in caves across Northeastern US. Caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, WNS has spread into caves as far west as Oklahoma and as far north as Canada, with over 115 cave hibernacula are now affected. To reduce the spread of this pathogen and protect endangered bat species, we are looking for compounds that can be used to treat bats in situ. We have focused on testing natural organic compounds that are able to prevent the growth and further transmittance of G. destructans, without harming bats or the native cave ecology. Various compounds have been tested to prevent the growth of the closely related Geomyces pannorum using two different competition assays: 1) a disk diffusion assay; and 2) a direct application of the chemical solution. In order to specifically target Geomyces species, the same tests were also performed using the unrelated fungi Penicillium pinophiolium and Aspergillus brasiliensis. Our results suggest that a number of compounds have the potential to prevent the spread of WNS and are currently being tested on the pathogen G. destructans and on healthy bat populations.

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White Nose Syndrome in Bats: Study 2: (Shelley) Inhibition of White Nose Syndrome in Hibernating Bat Colonies: Identification of Antifungal Agents

Since it first appeared in 2006, White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) has been devastating bat populations in caves across Northeastern US. Caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans, WNS has spread into caves as far west as Oklahoma and as far north as Canada, with over 115 cave hibernacula are now affected. To reduce the spread of this pathogen and protect endangered bat species, we are looking for compounds that can be used to treat bats in situ. We have focused on testing natural organic compounds that are able to prevent the growth and further transmittance of G. destructans, without harming bats or the native cave ecology. Various compounds have been tested to prevent the growth of the closely related Geomyces pannorum using two different competition assays: 1) a disk diffusion assay; and 2) a direct application of the chemical solution. In order to specifically target Geomyces species, the same tests were also performed using the unrelated fungi Penicillium pinophiolium and Aspergillus brasiliensis. Our results suggest that a number of compounds have the potential to prevent the spread of WNS and are currently being tested on the pathogen G. destructans and on healthy bat populations.