Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the causal agent of white-nose syndrome (WNS), is responsible for widespread mortality of hibernating bats across eastern North America. To document P. destructans exposure and infections on bats active during winter in the southeastern US, we collected epidermal swabs from bats captured during winters 2012–13 and 2013–14 in mist nets set outside of hibernacula in Tennessee. Epidermal swab samples were collected from eight Rafinesque's big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), six eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis), and three silver-hair bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans). Using real-time PCR methods, we identified DNA sequences of P. destructans from skin swabs of two Rafinesque's big-eared bats, two eastern red bats, and one silver-haired bat. This is the first detection of the WNS fungus on Rafinesque's big-eared bats and eastern red bats and the second record of the presence of the fungus on silver-haired bats.
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Vol. 51 • No. 2