Fishing for Answers to Whirling Disease

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 225-226
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.225

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


BOZEMAN, MONTANA-- "Whirling disease," caused by the protozoan Myxobolus cerebralis, has caused declines in Montana's rainbow trout populations, jeopardizing the state's income from trout fishing. The disease has been notoriously difficult to diagnose, but a sensitive test, developed in the past year, has given researchers a new tool to track infections and study the complex life cycle of M. cerebralis, which depends on two hosts and two pathogenic stages. These new techniques should immediately help fisheries managers avoid spreading the parasite through contaminated fish stocks, and they may eventually point to ways to combat the parasite in the wild.