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Data from: Efficacy of a probiotic bacterium to treat bats affected by the disease white-nose syndrome

Citation

Cheng, Tina L. et al. (2017), Data from: Efficacy of a probiotic bacterium to treat bats affected by the disease white-nose syndrome, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p1bd1

Abstract

The management of infectious diseases is an important conservation concern for a growing number of wildlife species. However, effective disease control in wildlife is challenging because feasible management options are often lacking. White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an infectious disease of hibernating bats that currently threatens several North American species with extinction. Currently, no effective treatments exist for WNS. We conducted a laboratory experiment to test the efficacy of treatment with Pseudomonas fluorescens, a bacterium that naturally occurs on bats, to reduce disease severity and improve survival of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) exposed to Pseudogymnoacus destructans, the fungal pathogen that causes WNS. Application of the bacteria at the time of P. destructans infection reduced several measures of disease severity and increased survival, whereas bacterial treatment prior to pathogen exposure had no effect on survival and worsened disease severity. Our results suggest that probiotic treatment with Ps. fluorescens has potential for WNS disease management but the timing of application is critical and should coincide with natural exposure of bats to P. destructans. More broadly, these results add to the growing knowledge of how the natural host microbiota can influence disease outcomes.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1115895

Location

North America