An experimental test of energy and electrolyte supplementation as a mitigation strategy for white-nose syndrome

Liam McGuire, Heather W Mayberry, Quinn E Fletcher, Craig KR Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fungi are increasingly recognised as harmful pathogens of wildlife. White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal disease that has killed millions of hibernating bats in North America. High mortality has driven research to identify management strategies for the disease. Increased energy expenditure and fat depletion, as well as fluid loss, hypotonic dehydration and electrolyte depletion appear to be key aspects of WNS pathophysiology. Bats with WNS spend energy too quickly and also lose fluids containing water and electrolytes from lesions on exposed skin surfaces. During periodic arousals, bats often drink water but, in most of the WNS-affected area, food is not available during winter and, therefore, they cannot maintain energy balance or replace lost electrolytes. Therefore, providing a liquid caloric/electrolyte/nutrient supplement could be useful for treating WNS. We studied captive, hibernating little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) to test whether providing supplemental energy and electr
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8
JournalConservation Physiology
StatePublished - Feb 20 2019

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