A new study by USGS and the University of Wisconsin describes the physiological process on how white-nose syndrome (WNS) is killing bats. Their results show a two fold increase in the fat energy use by bats infected with WNS when compared to uninfected bats. The difference between the two groups was apparent even in the early stages of the fungal infection.
The researchers propose a multi-stage disease progression model (shown below) to describe how WNS leads to mortality in hibernating bats. It is important to understand this devastating disease as we strive to find ways to reduce the spread of WNS and bat mortality.
The recently published article by Verant et al. is an Open Access article and can be found here.
PhysOrg also published an excellent summary of their research.