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WNS Summer Surveillance: DATA

July 12, 2017

Bats occupying hibernacula during summer months may play an important role in the epidemiology of white-nose syndrome (WNS). For example, bats exposed to viable Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the causative agent of WNS, in late summer could spread the fungus by transmitting it to other bats or to other locations suitable for establishment of new environmental reservoirs. To explore risks for transmission of Pd during the non-hibernal season, we screened bats using hibernacula between July 18 to August 22, 2012 and associated environmental samples for presence of Pd. Study sites within the eastern United States included six hibernacula known to harbor Pd and two hibernacula in which bats with WNS had not been previously observed. Standard demographic and morphometric data were recorded for bats captured from inside each study site. Sample types evaluated for the presence of Pd included bat wing swabs, guano pellets from individual bats, swabs of hibernaculum walls, and sediments from the hibernaculum floor. Additionally, swabs of various trapping and processing equipment and clothing worn into study sites were evaluated for the presence of Pd.

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