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