Most often, a virus is usually thought to cause illness and unproductive. For bats however, a virus that can cause white nose syndrome might be helpful. In white nose syndrome, a virus can be used could track symptoms in bats.
White nose syndrome can be deadly for bats. Around six million bats are killed by the disease each year in North America. The disease was first found in New York and has since moved 29 states and four Canadian provinces.
White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus. The fungus has been discovered to have been infected by a virus which could help scientists in tracking the movement of the disease. Many bat species have been affected, though some species are more affected than others. The little brown bat is one of the most severely affected, with a high 99 percent mortality rate.
Researchers are studying the fungus causing the disease. The fungus is said to be hard to track, as it has little variety even among different states. There is some hope with the virus that is infecting the fungus. Marilyn Roossinck, Professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology from Penn State has said that the virus can vary from one state to another.
Fungal viruses does not transmit at once to other fungi. This might be used as a marker then to track the movement of the disease as it spread to different states. The virus does not cause white nose syndrome, according to Penn State News. However, researchers are still looking if the virus might influence the fungus to become more virulent.
Roossinck has said that there is a close biological relationship between the virus and the fungus, as Science Daily reports. The study of the virus and the fungus causing the disease can have great implications in saving the bats. Understanding how the two work would be the first step in trying to control the disease. In white nose syndrome, a virus could be used to track symptoms in bats. Viruses and bacteria can be harmful, though bacteria might be used in time for bacteria-powered batteries.