‘Snake fungal disease, caused by a pathogenic fungus that grows on a variety of snakes, is spreading through several species in the U.S. and Europe and could become a global threat, experts warn. Twenty-three species have been sickened to date. As of now, no snakes appear immune to the disease, raising the very real prospect of a global infection.
“This really is the worst-case scenario,” Frank Burbrink, lead author of a new study documenting the disease, said in a statement. “All snakes could become infected, or already are infected.“
To study the parasitic fungus, known as Ophidiomyces ophidiodiicola, researchers fed information about species of snakes known to be affected by this disease into a neural network. Ideally, the neural network would take the information about the snakes, separate and compare their different characteristics, and isolate the factors that the snakes had in common to help them determine what might cause the infection.’
Original article: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/12/e1701387