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Nematodes + Bacteria

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: Nematodes + Bacteria  Reply with quote

apparently nematodes will use helper bacteria to process their host's tissues!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my understanding is that entomophagic nematodes go like this:

enter target through a variety of means (wounds, maybe anus and breathing opens, some might be able to eat a hole through exo)

once in target vomit worker bacteria into target

worker bacteria do bioconversion of target's tissues

todes slurp up converted biomass

once target runs low on source tissue the todes suck up as much of the bacteria as they can and leave the host

if all bug eating todes use this method it might be possible to treat them with antibiotics... the huge problem there is that generally we can diagnose nematodes only in the final and almost certainly untreatable phase of infection.  maybe it would be possible to have prophylactic antibiotics, but it is extremely likely that tarantulas and other complex bugs have dozens or hundreds of species of beneficial bacteria in them and antibiotics would hurt the bene's and the tara would still die :/

things i am not too sure on:  nematode vector, transmission of worker bacteria between generations of nematodes, do absolutely ALL bug eaters use worker bacteria
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

because i don't know the vector i really can't say how to safely quarantine known infected bugs... nor can i say for sure that someone with a bad tode outbreak can ever guarantee the rest of their collection is clean :/

there was a fellow on AB i think, who treated his G. rosea with high heat.  that has the potential to work, for sure... but not really with centipedes as easily as tarantulas.  That being said, i did keep many native USA species and a few exotics in my room that regularly got up to 100*F for hours at a time... and have never had any obvious problems with nematodes Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

regarding quarantine and what not:

there are LARGE precedents for such simple animals having all kinds of dormancy tricks, as which could allow them to escape normal detection methods for various lengths of time. i don't recall if nematodes, in part or whole, are known to pull such shenannigans

however... if you could go a year without any new cases manifesting, i expect that would mean *something*

this has been one of a bunch of things i try to read about... but there are just too many interesting things out there :/  even if i find stuff about parasites etc. in situ or from a pest management viewpoint it still isn't easy to safely transfer that knowledge to a hobby context.  i'd love to hook up with any hobbyists that are also formally trained in this kidn of thing.  i suspect that me and my local bug group could at least help with collecting infected wild specimens if the expert could develop some kind of good early diagnostic scheme for us (which would also be VERY nice for the hobby!)

regarding control by euthanasia:
the problem with euth'ing is that we just don't know how to tell what animals NEED to be killed.  i mean, on the one hand getting rid of potential infection sources is obviously good and you do want to limit it from spreading in your collection as much as possible

but obviously killing any animals without actually needing to just sucks... especially if you have already lost some :/
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

regarding vector

unknown or unremembered, for me

i have some reasonable suspects, though

primarily some form of intermediate either host or just "ride".  i've read one possible method to limiting spread is to only have your cages ventilated by holes covered with microscreen stuff

of course, those nematodes are so small that i guess they could use spooky infection methods.  like maybe if one had eggs in it and died inside an enclosure they could dry out without the eggs dying... then if you broke them open maybe their eggs would be light enough to waft on a good breeze.  that depends on them being able to do a number of other things, but it is just a for instance to give you an idea

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