Fleming Anyone who has ever set up a mist net in a lowland Neotropical forest is likely to have captured the short-tailed fruit bat Carollia perspicillata , a member of the leaf-nosed bat family Phyllostomidae. One of the most common mammals in the New World tropics, this bat ranges from Veracruz and Oxaca, Mexico, to southern Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil, and is also present on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad, Tobago, and Grenada. Throughout its range, the short-tailed fruit bat plays an extremely important role in the dynamics of tropical forest ecosystems, feeding on the fruits and dispersing the seeds of a variety of early successional plant species, the pioneer plants that are the first to colonize disturbed areas. Weighing about two-thirds of an ounce about 22 grams , this bat lives in colonies of a few dozen to several hundred individuals in a wide variety of roosts, most commonly in caves or hollow trees. At sunset, the bats leave their day roosts and begin searching for ripe fruit within a mile or so about 1. Using a combination of olfactory and visual cues, these sharp-eyed bats pluck fruits from shrubs and trees and carry them to safe feeding perches-- usually bower-like mats of vegetation that are safe from predators-- to eat.
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Cordeiro, K. Silva, R. Brilhante, F. Marques, R. Cordeiro, R. Moreira Filho, R. Bandeira, M. Rocha, J. Moura, N. Duarte Open modal Abstract To analyze the eco-epidemiologic aspects of Histoplasma capsulatum in Brazil, we tested 83 bats for this fungus. Although H. Immunologic studies detected coccidioidal antibodies and antigens in Glossophaga soricina and Desmodus rotundus bats. Studies have demonstrated that bats order Chiroptera are reservoirs for many infectious agents, including protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and fungi 1.
Several studies confirm that bats have a great effect on human health because they can transmit numerous infectious agents and provide a reservoir for emerging pathogens 1 , 2.
The interaction between these animals and pathogenic fungi is well illustrated by the occurrence of histoplasmosis outbreaks in humans who are exposed to bat droppings in the environment 3 , 4.
In Brazil, histoplasmosis is an endemic disease that occurs mainly in patients with AIDS 5 , but Histoplasma capsulatum var. To analyze the eco-epidemiologic aspects of H. However, the research revealed the existence of a bat that was naturally infected with Coccidioides posadasii and 2 other chiropterans with coccidioidal immunologic responses. This fungal pathogen can cause coccidioidomycosis, a serious infection in humans and animals.
The mycosis is presently considered to be endemic to Northeast Brazil, as evidenced by human autochthonous cases 6 — 8 , positive coccidioidin skin-test results 7 , and isolation of the fungus from soil 7 , 9.
We describe the isolation of C. The animals were captured during the day nonhematophagous bats or night hematophagous bats by using nylon mist nets with mm mesh. Immediately after capture, the bats were euthanized by an overdose of diethyl ether by inhalation, and their spleen, liver, and lungs were analyzed for H. Figure Figure. Coccidioidal structures obtained from a naturally infected Carollia perspicillata bat upper images and experimentally infected mice lower images. A Macroscopic aspect of Coccidioides posadasii culture recovered from homogenate of bat Although none of the samples were positive for H.
Microscopic analysis showed hyaline septate hyphae and arthroconidia alternating with empty disjunctor cells Figure , panel B. Lung fragments from the infected bat were then removed from storage and examined by direct microscopy, revealing coccidioidal spherules Figure , panel C.
The suspected Coccicioides colony was evaluated through the in vivo reversion test 9. In brief, 5 mL of 0. Two mice were injected intraperitoneally with 1 mL of the homogeneous supernatant and then were held under biosafety level 3 conditions for 4 weeks. After this period, the animals were euthanized and their spleen, liver, and lungs were removed.
Additional histopathologic analyses of each organ were performed. Spherules with endospores were found in the lungs of the infected animals Figure , panel D , and histopathologic analysis supported the identification of Coccidioides spp.
Figure , panels E, F. Fragments of the spleen, liver, and lungs cultured on Mycosel Agar yielded mold colonies that produced typical coccidioidal arthroconidia. Homogenates of lungs, spleen, and liver of all bats were removed from storage and assayed by immunodiffusion tests specific for H.
None of the homogenates showed positive reactions in H. However, positive antibodies against Coccidioides spp. Positive antigen reactions were seen in homogenate liver samples from 2 animals, identified as G.
These results suggest natural coccidioidal infection among the animals evaluated. Positive C. The vampire bat, D. Conclusions Coccidioides spp. In this study, C. We propose 3 hypotheses for this finding. First, we hypothesize that the ability to travel long distances daily in their search for food and the social behavior of chiropterans may promote the acquisition and dispersion of C. As a result, infected bats may have migrated from areas where Coccidioides infections are endemic and introduced the fungus in previously non—disease-endemic areas.
A second hypothesis involves the possible existence of other animals that cohabitate with bats in artificial or natural shelters as the primary source of C. Hypothetical links between climate changes and the epidemiology of other fungal diseases have been described. Studies need to be performed to investigate the role of chiropterans in the epidemiologic cycle of coccidioidomycosis.
Her research focuses on pathogenic fungi in humans and animals. Emerging diseases in Chiroptera: why bats? Biol Lett. Isolation of Histoplasma capsulatum from bats in the United States. Am J Epidemiol. Epidemiol Infect. Epub ahead of print. Trop Med Int Health. J Mycol Med. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. Med Mycol. Am J Trop Med Hyg. Novel approach to designing primers for identification and distinction of the human pathogenic fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii by PCR amplification.
J Clin Microbiol. J Med Microbiol. Expanding understanding of epidemiology of coccidioidomycosis in the Western Hemisphere. Ann N Y Acad Sci.
Volume 19, Issue 4, Winter 2001
Seba’s Short-Tailed Bat
Seba's short-tailed bat