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The prevalence of infection and susceptibility of the aquatic oligochaete Tubifex tubifex to Myxobolus cerebralis, was examined in 2 studies on the upper Colorado River, Colorado, USA, where whirling disease occurs in wild trout populations. In the first study, the prevalence of infection ranged from 0.4 to 1.5%, as determined by counting the number of T. tubifex releasing triactinomyxons of M. cerebralis directly following their collection from the field. The susceptibility of those T. tubifex not releasing triactinomyxons was assessed by the number of these oligochaetes releasing triactinomyxons 3 mo following experimental exposures to spores of M. cerebralis. The prevalence of infection following experimental...
We exposed 9 wk old rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss to ambient levels of Myxobolus cerebralis infectious stages at 4 sites of suspected differing infectivity in the Colorado River. Exposure was estimated by periodic filtration of river water at each exposure location. After a 32 d exposure, the fish were held in the Colorado River at a common site for over a year. Resulting infection was evaluated by the presence of clinical signs (whirling behavior, cranial deformity/exophthalmia, and black tail), severity of microscopic lesions, and myxospore counts (8, 10, 12, and 14 mo post-exposure). Two exposure sites that were immediately downstream of Windy Gap Reservoir were much higher in infectivity than the site above...