Historic and geographic surveillance of Pseudogymnoascus destructans possible from collections of bat parasites
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Specimens archived in wet collections represent valuable material for scientific research. Here, we show that bat fly (Diptera, Nycteribiidae) samples contain DNA of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, a fungus pathogenic to bats. Using dual‐probe quantitative PCR, we detected P. destructans DNA on bat flies collected in the Samara, Sverdlovsk and Irkutsk regions of Russia between 2005 and 2017. Fungal load was significantly lower on bat flies from wet collections than on freshly collected mites in the Czech Republic. The bat pathogen was present in the Samara region (European part of Russia) in 2005, that is, a year before recognition of white‐nose syndrome in North America. As Samara and Irkutsk regions were identified as new positive locations of P. destructans, our data expand the known geographic distribution of P. destructans. We conclude that ethanol‐stored ectoparasites can be used to identify the presence of pathogens in historic bat populations and understudied geographical regions.
Bats, White-nose syndrome
1 online resource
Bats; White-nose syndrome
Zahradníková, A. Jr; Kovacova, V.; Martínková, N.; Orlova, M. V.; Orlov, O. L.; Piacek, V.; and Zukal, J., "Historic and geographic surveillance of Pseudogymnoascus destructans possible from collections of bat parasites" (2017). KIP Articles. 2446.