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Posted Sun Aug 29 2010: from ScienceDaily:
Deadly Bat Fungus Found in Several European Countries, No Ill Effects
Since 2006 unprecedented mass mortalities have been recorded in North American hibernating bat populations. More than a million animals died and the scale of the problem continuous to increase. Initially the first dramatic declines remained within the northeastern states of the US, then spread in a radial fashion to neighbouring regions. This year the Canadian border was breached. Cause of the mass mortalities is a fungal infection. In Europe, concerns are rising that this fungus might be transferred to the European continent and then might possibly pose a similar threat to native bat species here.... Now a collective project by researchers from Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and the United Kingdom, the mycology department of the hospital of Munich Technical University, the Robert Koch Institute and the IZW shows that the fungus Geomyces destructans actually occurs in several European countries -- the only previous record was that of a single bat reported from France. The scientists also unearthed early reports indicating that the fungus was already noted on hibernating bats in Germany 25 years ago. "So far it seems that a colonisation by the fungus has no detrimental effect on European bat species," says IZW project leader Dr. Gudrun Wibbelt.... "Surprisingly, comparative molecular genetic analyses revealed a 100 percent identity between gene segments of the North American and European fungal strains. Now the most important task is to understand why European bats do not die after being colonised by the fungus....
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'Doc Jim says:
Could bats be allergic to free-market capitalism's effect on the environment?
I know it makes me sick.

But honestly, doesn't this have all the hallmarks of an opportunistic disease, like the fungal infections that hit immunosupressed people?

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