Evidence of 'sickness behaviour' in bats with white-nose syndrome

S. J. Bohn, J. M. Turner, L. Warnecke, C. Mayo, L. P. McGuire, V. Misra, T. K. Bollinger, C. K.R. Willis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many animals change behaviour in response to pathogenic infections. White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal skin disease causing rapid declines of North American bats. Infection with Pseudogymnoascus destructans causes hibernating bats to arouse from torpor too often, potentially causing starvation. Mechanisms underlying increased arousals are not understood but fungal invasion of the wings could trigger thirst to relieve fluid loss or grooming to relieve skin irritation. Alternatively, bats might exhibit 'sickness behaviour', a suite of responses to infection that save energy. We quantified behaviours of healthy and experimentally inoculated little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) that could reflect active (i.e., drinking, grooming) or inactive (i.e., sickness behaviour) responses to infection. Infected bats groomed less and were less likely to visit their water dish compared to controls. These results are consistent with research suggesting that P. destructans causes sickness behaviour which could help bats compensate for energetic costs associated with infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-1003
Number of pages23
JournalBehaviour
Volume153
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2016

Fingerprint

Illness Behavior
Nose
Chiroptera
Infection
Grooming
infection
grooming (animal behavior)
Torpor
Dermatomycoses
thirst
skin irritation
Thirst
Animal Behavior
resting periods
skin diseases
behavior change
Starvation
Arousal
drinking
Drinking

Cite this

Bohn, S. J., Turner, J. M., Warnecke, L., Mayo, C., McGuire, L. P., Misra, V., ... Willis, C. K. R. (2016). Evidence of 'sickness behaviour' in bats with white-nose syndrome. Behaviour, 153(8), 981-1003. https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003384
Bohn, S. J. ; Turner, J. M. ; Warnecke, L. ; Mayo, C. ; McGuire, L. P. ; Misra, V. ; Bollinger, T. K. ; Willis, C. K.R. / Evidence of 'sickness behaviour' in bats with white-nose syndrome. In: Behaviour. 2016 ; Vol. 153, No. 8. pp. 981-1003.
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Bohn, SJ, Turner, JM, Warnecke, L, Mayo, C, McGuire, LP, Misra, V, Bollinger, TK & Willis, CKR 2016, 'Evidence of 'sickness behaviour' in bats with white-nose syndrome', Behaviour, vol. 153, no. 8, pp. 981-1003. https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003384

Evidence of 'sickness behaviour' in bats with white-nose syndrome. / Bohn, S. J.; Turner, J. M.; Warnecke, L.; Mayo, C.; McGuire, L. P.; Misra, V.; Bollinger, T. K.; Willis, C. K.R.

In: Behaviour, Vol. 153, No. 8, 20.07.2016, p. 981-1003.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Bohn SJ, Turner JM, Warnecke L, Mayo C, McGuire LP, Misra V et al. Evidence of 'sickness behaviour' in bats with white-nose syndrome. Behaviour. 2016 Jul 20;153(8):981-1003. https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003384