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bad infection with microsporidia

slawek s.bartoszewski at zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de
Thu Jul 8 09:23:37 EST 2004

Dear Fly People,

We have been having a really bad problem with a strange infection.  All
stages are affected as follows:

1. Larvae have a part of the body milky white and paralysed, after keeping
in Hoyers medium this part does not clear and is full of small round things
(now I know these are spores).
2. In pupae in a bad case the posterior part is twisted, otherwise they just
die.  Sometimes there is a good looking bottle full of larvae and pupae, but
almost no flies come out.
3. Adults live about a week and show a very poor fertility.

I had sent the flies to an agricultural institution and they were diagnosed
with microsporidia.  To my suggestion that two groups of microsporidia are
mentioned in Ashburner, the lady analysing them said that these would be
rather Octosporea and not Nosema.  She also thought that 2 medicines quoted
in Ashburner, Fumagillin and Benomyl, might not be effective.

The data about these pests is very poor, just a tiny chapter in Ashburner
with a few citations, and I failed to find anything useful in Medline.   I
am afraid that nowadays nobody reports these problems.  I am thinking to
outcross males from the infected lines to healthy females, in a few cases it
helped dramatically but I am not quite sure whether the bugs will not come

I would appreciate any suggestions from people who faced a similar problem
and managed to overcome it.


 Slawek Bartoszewski
 ZMBH, Univ. Heidelberg, Germany
 E-Mail:  s.bartoszewski at zmbh.uni-heidelberg.de 
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