May 27, 2015

Scientists, conservationists say they have successfully treated bats with white-nose syndrome

Scientists and conservationists say they have successfully treated and cured bats afflicted with white-nose syndrome, reports The Nature Conservancy. The disease, which is a white fungus that appears on the noses of hibernating bats, has killed an estimated 5.7 million bats in the eastern U.S. and Canada. It also forced the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened(A bat that was released after being treated for white-nose syndrome)

Last week 150 bats successfully treated for white-nose syndrome were released into the Mark Twain Cave Complex in Hannibal, Mo., according to The Nature Conservancy. "In 2012, Dr. Christopher Cornelison and several colleagues at Georgia State University found that a common North America bacterium, Rhodococcus rhodochrous, had the ability to inhibit the growth of some fungi. They found in the lab that R. rhodochrous, without directly touching the Pd, could nonetheless strongly inhibit its growth." Scientists said they are cautiously optimistic that the treatment is an effective cure for white-nose syndrome. (Read more