We thank Field (2018) for his comments on Davy et al. (2017), “The Other White‐Nose Syndrome Transcriptome: tolerant and susceptible hosts respond differently to the pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans”, where we reported the outcomes of experimental exposure of little brown bats, Myotis lucifugus, and greater mouse‐eared bats, Myotis myotis, to P. destructans. Field (2018) raises three key points: (1) that the putatively tolerant species in our experiment (M. myotis) did not develop infection, (2) that the reported qPCR results do not confirm the presence of the pathogen at the time of sampling, and (3) that the M. myotis tissue used for RNA sequencing did not contain the pathogen, P. destructans. These points highlight the unique challenges of studying host–pathogen interactions in environmentally persistent pathogens, and we welcome the opportunity to explicitly discuss these challenges.
Davy, C. M., Donaldson, M. E., Willis, C. KR., Saville, B. J., McGuire, L., Mayberry, H., Wilcox, A., Wibbelt, G., Misra, V., Bollinger, T., & Kyle, C. J. (2018). Environmentally persistent pathogens present particular challenges for studies of host-pathogen interactions: Reply to Field (2018). Ecology and Evolution, 5238-5241. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4035