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Re: Blackworms and whirling disease?
Re blackworms and disease:
>Paul Jarvis wrote:
>> Speaking of blackworms...
>> Have any of you thought about the fact that blackworms (tubificids) are
>> intermediate hosts for the organism which causes whirling disease?
>> Fishing birds eat fish which are infected with the whirling disease (which
>> destroys cartilage), the organism is passed through the bird with the feces.
>> THe feces is dropped into the water where the blackworms feed on it,
>> ingesting the M. cerebralis organism. Fish then feed on the
>> blackworm(host)and become infected with the whirling disease.
>> JUst wondering what you all thought?
>> Perhaps the blackworms you use are raised in situations free of
>This runs counter to the advice we received from Barry Cooper, who should
>know. Blackworms are not host to *any* known fish pathogens.
It is true that I do not know of any identified pathogens for which
blackworms are an intermediate host. What Wright says about "blackworm
farms" is also true. Some, specifically ones in CA that I know of, are
purpose installations that are not using run-off from trout farms. Others
do use such run-off. As a matter of caution, I prefer to use the blackworms
that don't use trout pond run-off. Having said that, I still don't know of
specific pathogens of trout that affect killies. As Sherlock Holmes might
say, it is improbable but not impossible.
M. cerebralis, the causitive organism of whirling disease, uses tubificid
worms as its intermediate host. I am not aware that whirling disease can
affect aquarium fish. Additionally, blackworms, although physically
similar, are a distinct species from tubifex.
>Much of the country gets blackworms from the California sources (food
>factories), where they are not exposed to fish or fish waste. Some worms in
>the far eastern parts of the country (i.e., east of the Rockies) may come
>from trout farms, but I've never heard of whirling disease from the worms.
>I've seen far more damage of that kind from the lead weights on plants when
>a tank goes slightly acid. *They* will give a dramatic form of whirling
>Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntleyone at home dot com
> "DEMOCRACY" is two wolves and a lamb voting on lunch.
> "LIBERTY" is a well-armed lamb denying enforcement of the vote.
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Barry J. Cooper Phone: (607)253-3336
Dept. Biomedical Sciences email: bjc3 at cornell_edu
College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
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