Although no mass mortality has been recorded so far, the precise demographic effect of white-nose syndrome (WNS) on European bats still remains to be ascertained. Following the first isolation of P. destructans in Italy, further surveys were performed to assess the distribution of the fungus in NW Italy and its effects on bats. Data were collected from March 2019 to April 2020 at sites used for hibernation (six sites) and/or for reproduction (four sites) in Piedmont and Aosta Valley. A total of 138 bats, belonging to 10 species, were examined to identify clinical features possibly related to the fungal presence. Culture from swabs and the molecular identification of isolates confirmed the presence of P. destructans in bats from five sites, including two maternal roosts. Dermal fungal infiltration, the criterion to assess the presence of WNS, was observed in biopsies of bats belonging to Myotis blythii, M. daubentonii, M. emarginatus and M. myotis. This is the first report of the disease in Italy. The results suggest a greater susceptibility to the infection of the genus Myotis and particularly of M. emarginatus, possibly due to the long length of its hibernation period. Other fungal dermatophytes were also observed.

White-Nose Syndrome Confirmed in Italy: A Preliminary Assessment of Its Occurrence in Bat Species

Carolina Girometta
Investigation
;
2021

Abstract

Although no mass mortality has been recorded so far, the precise demographic effect of white-nose syndrome (WNS) on European bats still remains to be ascertained. Following the first isolation of P. destructans in Italy, further surveys were performed to assess the distribution of the fungus in NW Italy and its effects on bats. Data were collected from March 2019 to April 2020 at sites used for hibernation (six sites) and/or for reproduction (four sites) in Piedmont and Aosta Valley. A total of 138 bats, belonging to 10 species, were examined to identify clinical features possibly related to the fungal presence. Culture from swabs and the molecular identification of isolates confirmed the presence of P. destructans in bats from five sites, including two maternal roosts. Dermal fungal infiltration, the criterion to assess the presence of WNS, was observed in biopsies of bats belonging to Myotis blythii, M. daubentonii, M. emarginatus and M. myotis. This is the first report of the disease in Italy. The results suggest a greater susceptibility to the infection of the genus Myotis and particularly of M. emarginatus, possibly due to the long length of its hibernation period. Other fungal dermatophytes were also observed.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1447394
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact