Natalie Kim Bjorklund umbjork1 at cc.UManitoba.CA
Tue Dec 24 17:28:03 EST 1996

> 	Hello Dear urodele researchers:
>	At the labo we have had axolotls organisms developing fungi 
>infestation. This is a very uncommon problem for me, it appearence as 
>white cotton-like covering the skin of the limbs  and it destroy 
>epithelium and muscle and produce swelling and edema of these (one or two 
>limbs generally). This abnormality cause immobility and necrosis of 
>tissues and the fungi it may to invade other regions of animals's body 
>and to killer it finally. Aditionally, the fungi become like a 
>filament less aggressive that appeared in the tail fin.  
>	We suspect this problem was originated from any fishes as food; 
>however this fungi was not detectable in fishes and any of they developed 
>infestation after axolotl does. 
>	We have intented the treatment with common antimicrobial agents, 
>however it has been inefficient. Do you had seen it some time? What do you 
>suggest me? Thanks in advance.
> Alvaro Vargas Gonzalez
> E-mail jalvaro at servidor.unam.mx

We have had a fungal outbreak of what sounds like precisely the same 
thing at the U of Manitoba colony. It did not respond to any of the usual 
antimicrobial agents we tried either. In desparation we tried an old 
fashioned cure all, Nitrofurazone, which is available from our local pet 
stores. To our surprise, it works like magic curing the problem 
completely overnight. Nitrofurazone is available in capsule form and 
is a yellow powder when dry. It is added directly to the water and turns 
it a blue color on dissolving. The package recommends three doses and 
that's what we use following the label for dosage. All our animals 
treated with this showed no ill effect of any sort. For us the signal 
most important diagnostic criteria is that it attacks the feet first. 
Most other infections we've dealt with go after the gills first.

Our vet suspects this bug comes from people not fish and is one of our 
ubiquitous skin bacteria and not a fungus. She says it is probably 
resistant to the standard antimicrobials from repeat exposure to 
antibiotics. Nitrosfurasone is a prepenicillin era veterinary standby. It 
probably works so well because the bacterium hasn't been exposed to the 
stuff for five decades and so has no resistence. Also our experience is 
that if the animal has the infection once and survives, it is immune 
afterward and will not get it again. This is conjecture not based in any 
proper study.

As a precautionary/preventive measure I would double check your ph. It 
seems to like acid water (6.5) so pull your ph up to 7.2 or so. Try adding 
some sea salt to your water as well. This seems to help. It also doesn't 
do well in colder temps, say 12 - 16 C. We only had trouble in warmer 
weather. Hopefully it's the same bug and this advice will help. Good luck.


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