Hibernating bats mount a partial immune response against white-nose syndrome

October 1, 2015

CONTACT: Ken Field, e-mail: kfield@bucknell.edu, phone: +1.570.577.3814

Since it was first discovered in North America in 2007, white-nose syndrome has killed more than 5.7 million bats. In the northeast, bat populations have been devastated, declining to less than 5 percent of their former numbers in some regions. But new research from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., may finally shed some light on the disease that remains very much a mystery.

“We’ve been trying since 2007 to identify treatments to help the bats defend themselves against white-nose syndrome, but for the most part we’ve been shooting in the dark,” said Ken Field, associate professor of biology at Bucknell and lead author of the research article, which appeared in the October Issue of PLOS Pathogens. “We’re trying things that we think should work, but unless we understand all of the processes the bats undergo, we can’t create treatments to address the multiple problems.”