The vectors involved in the spread of whirling disease, which is caused by Myxobolus cerebralis, are only partly understood. However, the parasite has rapidly become established in many regions, suggesting that it is easily disseminated. We gained insight into transport vectors by examining the surface porosity of common wading equipment materials and the adherence of M. cerebralis myxospores to them. Interstitial spaces within rubber, felt, lightweight nylon, and neoprene were measured on scanning electron microscope images. Myxospores were applied to each material, the material was rinsed, and the myxospores recovered to assess adherence. The mean interstitial space size of rubber was the smallest (2.0 ??m), whereas that of felt was the largest (31.3 ??m). The highest recovery rates were from rubber and the glass control. Percent myxospore recovery varied by material, the recovery from felt being lower than that from all other materials. The potential for felt to carry even small numbers of myxospores suggests that the introduction of M. cerebralis by felt-soled wading boots is possible. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.
Additional publication details
Adherence of Myxobolus cerebralis myxospores to waders: Implications for disease dissemination