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Sick flies need your help

Richard S. Jones rjones at SUN.CIS.SMU.EDU
Wed Sep 13 17:56:19 EST 1995


Our fly facility is struggling with an infectious fly disease (NOT MITES).  The 
symptoms include significant embryonic, larval, and pupal lethality in stocks 
that carry no recessive lethal mutations.  Also, 10 to 50% of affected adults 
often die within one week following eclosion.  Some stocks are more susceptible 
to these symptoms than others.  For example, our Oregon-R stock seems completely
unaffected.  We can "cure" a stock by bleach-dechorionating embryos, placing 
them in fresh vials, and re-establishing the stock from the resulting adults.  
However, if this stock is subsequently handled with utensils (brushes, CO2 
plate, etc.) that are used with infected flies, the symptoms return.  

Since our facility has several hundred stocks (we don't know if all are 
infected, but don't want to take chances), the dechorionation method is an 
impractical permanent cure.  Our normal food contains methyl paraben.  
Supplementing it with acid mixes, or tetracycline and/or chloramphenicol does 
not help. If anyone has had experience with such a problem, and especially if 
you can recommend an antibiotic based treatment (or other food additive type of 
treatment, since we don't really know if we are dealing with bacteria or???), we
would greatly appreciate your advice.  

We and our flies thank you in advance.

Rick Jones                                       rjones at sun.cis.smu.edu

Dept. of Biological Sciences
Fondren Science Building
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX  75275
TEL:  214-768-3810
FAX:  214-768-3955

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