Notes from Microbiologist Talk in June

Here are the notes that I have… I had to leave part way through the talk. Also please excuse any misspellings of names.


Bats and White Nose Syndrome

Diana Northrup – Microbioilogist
Debbie Buecher – Bat Biologist
Kenneth Ingram – Photographer

  1. Hibernation vs. Migration
    Hibernation – Family Vespertilionidae
    Migration – Family Phyllostomidae & Family Molossidae
  2. Hibernation
    Uses 20-30% of bat fat reserves
    Bats find cold, humid sites
    Cold slows metabolism and High Humidity reduces moisture loss
    Can drop the temperature of hibernaculum 1-2 *C of ambient temperatures
    During hibernation
    – Heart Rate slows
    – Respiration slows
    – Suppression of Immune System occurs (this is where WNS attacks)
    – Bats slowly live off fat reserves
    – Risk of human disturbance
    – an unplanned arousal can burn up to 15 days of hibernation fat reserves!
  3. White Nose Syndrome
    Like 2*C-16*C
    Bat hibernacula 2*C-14*C
    Cold damp caves provide year-round reservoirs (even when bats aren’t there, WNS can last)
  4. Clinical findings of WNS
    White fuzzy noses
    Wing damage
    Depleted fat reserves
  5. WNS Findings
    Fungus invades cells, causing loss of dermal integrity which reduces physical functions
  6. Why are some bats vulnerable?
    Hibernation bat clusters promote transmission
    Hibernation offers limited resources
  7. Huachuca Mountains of Southern AZ
    Finding conditions perfect for WNS
  8. New Mexico WNS Search
    1. Assess key caves for appropriate conditions
    2. Test soils
    3. Obtain bat microbiota
    4. Test cultures
    Currently NO WNS in New Mexico
  9. Actinobacteria – may be protecting bats
    Produces antifungals
    Researchers are testing whether actinobacteria can kill WNS
    Actinobacteria IS present on our bats


Random Facts:
WNS is causing 6 million pounds of insects (3000 tons) per year to NOT be eaten by bats.
Humans shed 10,000 skin cells per minute… ew.


Please add or correct any of my notes in the comments. Thanks !

3 thoughts on “Notes from Microbiologist Talk in June

  1. Hi, Just wanted you to know that I added some questions and text to your notes, Kristi and send them on to Debbie and Diana. Haven’t heard back yet. I can follow up next week if I haven’t heard anything more.

    Thanks again for sharing your notes.


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