Theoretical mycosis treatment and plausible reasoning for higher mycosis cases in recent SE asian i

REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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As most know mycosis is a bit of a troublesome issue for those of us keeping centipedes for any given amount of time and for most keepers it has occurred atleast once, and for the most part, treatment prescribed is to reduce humidity in the enclosure and wait for the pede to molt. In my experience and the collective experience of some close friends this has mixed results. My new theory stems from my S.heros breeding project which I am currently cooling (high 40s low 50s) to naturally replicate winter (I was told this is beneficial to breeding activity) regardless of breeding for this instance I am theorizing that perhaps cooling periods can also aid in a pede beating mycosis. I have one of six of my heros displaying mycosis and since cooling the spread has stopped and appears to have even subsided a bit, Mycosis is believed to be fungal and fungal growth needs moisture but it also needs heat to thrive in all but rare instances. In theory for pedes like S.heros that naturally experience a cold winter this colder time may also keep mycosis at bay, by allowing the pedes to regain the upper hand in the battle against fungal infection and beating it from the inside. And this very same natural cooling along with generally low mycosis cases in S.heros to begin with, is why I believe perhaps a warming trend in more tropical places of the world like South East Asia could in fact contribute to higher cases of mycosis in pedes from that region of the world, if they are living at 10 degrees on average higher than they used to, they probably wouldn't die from heat increase of that little over say 3 decades(example), but mycosis could rapidly gain ground against them if heat is a factor to its growth. Specifically for S.dehaani or S.mycosis as i jokingly call them. And other mycosis prone species. This may all be irrelevant but just my thoughts, feel free to add more, or educate me on how or why my theory is dumb I'm open to it all, cheers.
 
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l4nsky

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I think a better hypothesis might be the opposite.

Fungi are part of the reason we exist
Roughly 65 million years ago, an asteroid strike would wipe out 70 percent of all life on Earth. But it wouldn’t happen all at once. The lack of sunlight that followed the asteroid impact meant that the plant life that didn’t die on impact would start to decay rapidly, creating the conditions for fungi to spread rapidly.

When that happened, mammals had one key advantage over cold-blooded reptiles, then the planet’s dominant life forms.

“They’re hot,” explains Arturo Casadevall, a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University. “The reptiles are quite susceptible to fungal diseases, but your typical mammal, which maintains a temperature in the mid 30’s or so, creates a thermal exclusionary zone for fungi.”

Those surviving mammals are the evolutionary ancestors of every mammal on the planet today, from civet cats to water buffalo to us.

“The warm-bloodedness of mammals, including ourselves, has evolved, in part, as a response to the pressure from fungus,” says Rob Dunn, a professor at North Carolina State University. “And so we seem to have cooked out the fungal pathogens.”
https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/m_features/fungi-are-responsible-for-life-on-land-as-we-know-it

While cold can certainly impede the growth of some fungi, I think heat might be a better answer. This theory postulates that mammals rose to dominance after the dinosaur extinction event because warm blooded animals are better resistant to fungal infections than their cold blooded counterparts. My question is, has anybody ever tried a hot and dry approach to treating mycosis in the tropical species that can't withstand the cold temps that S. heros can?

Thanks,
--Matt
 

REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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I think a better hypothesis might be the opposite.


https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/m_features/fungi-are-responsible-for-life-on-land-as-we-know-it

While cold can certainly impede the growth of some fungi, I think heat might be a better answer. This theory postulates that mammals rose to dominance after the dinosaur extinction event because warm blooded animals are better resistant to fungal infections than their cold blooded counterparts. My question is, has anybody ever tried a hot and dry approach to treating mycosis in the tropical species that can't withstand the cold temps that S. heros can?

Thanks,
--Matt
Definitely can see how this is valid, I opened this thread up to learn more not to say I'm right and i would agree trying a warm dry method on tropical sp. to test viability of mycosis treatment is something that should be looked at also.
 

l4nsky

Arachnoknight
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Definitely can see how this is valid, I opened this thread up to learn more not to say I'm right and i would agree trying a warm dry method on tropical sp. to test viability of mycosis treatment is something that should be looked at also.
I think both theories deserve an experiment. My only concern is if a weakened pede can take the 98 degree temperatures and for how long would it be necessary. This goes without saying, but if anyone does try it, the pede would need access to a large water dish to avoid dehydration.

Thanks,
--Matt
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
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You are basically looking at two metabolisms - that of the fungus and that of the centipede. In centipedes the immune response and hence the ability to fight off an infection will decrease with cooler temperatures and increase with warmer temperatures within "healthy range" for any given species. Molds and fungi can have very different optimal growth temperatures. Without being able to identify the particular fungus involved it would be difficult to guess what temperatures that fungus grows best at. I would place my bets with keeping the centipede at its optimal temperature and conditions while trying to minimize likely good conditions for molds. In other words - "comfortably" warm for the centipede, dry substrate (to limit the fungus) but making sure the centipede has water to drink.

Keeping the centipede at temperatures that are too hot could create stress, which would decrease the centipede's immune response. But it might also stress the fungus. The gamble is which gets more stressed.

Something else that might be worth considering is paying attention to the pH and nutrient load of the substrate. I do not know of any work done on optimum pH levels for centipedes, but it probably varies a lot with different species. I live on a limestone hillside (high pH) and we have lots of Scolopendra heros here. But species found in jungles would probably be in low-pH soils. High nutrient loads in the substrate, especially with moisture, would allow molds and fungus to grow well, so periodically replacing old substrate with fresh clean stuff could be helpful.
 
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Greasylake

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Keeping the centipede at temperatures that are too hot could create stress, which would decrease the centipede's immune response. But it might also stress the fungus. The gamble is which gets more stressed.
Sounds essentially like what a fever is to us. I agree with you that without knowing which fungus is causing the infection we dont know how best to fight it, and infections aren't always going to be caused by the same fungus so I'm wondering if it would even be worth it to try to find out.
 

l4nsky

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High nutrient loads in the substrate, especially with moisture, would allow molds and fungus to grow well, so periodically replacing old substrate with fresh clean stuff could be helpful.
Not necessarily. With the old substrate, the mycelium will have pretty much exhausted any organic resources it uses for fuel and start to wither away. New substrate will knock down the mycelial population for a little bit, but unless you sterilize the cage prior to adding the new substrate and find some way to clean the pede of any spores or mycelium, the fungi will come roaring back with a vengeance thanks to the refreshed food supply. You might be on to something with the pH, especially for the tropical species. As a rule, the rainforest soils are usually acidic from all the decaying biomaterial and as such, those fungi have evolved for that pH. I suspect that they would have a strong negative reaction if some calcium carbonate were mixed into the substrate, causing a pH shift to basic. Perhaps hot, dry, and basic pH could be a magic combination.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
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... With the old substrate, the mycelium will have pretty much exhausted any organic resources it uses for fuel and start to wither away. ...
Mycelia themselves are biological materials, and hence nutrient. Any decomposing biological material (including mycelia) can be nutrient. There are fungi that grow on other fungi. (Although these would not be likely to be the same ones infecting a centipede.)
 

l4nsky

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Mycelia themselves are biological materials, and hence nutrient. Any decomposing biological material (including mycelia) can be nutrient. There are fungi that grow on other fungi. (Although these would not be likely to be the same ones infecting a centipede.)
Correct, but their will be less nutrition available for the next species, and as you pointed out the next species likely wont pose a risk. As this cycle continues, the biologically available nutrition gets less and less without large additions of new biomass (like decaying plants who add more to the soil then they take away because they use an external source (the sun) to create additional biomass).
 

REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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@Bill S well said, I've actually just switched the only dehaani i keep over to "new out of bag" dry soil. Its not bone dry but it is significantly drier than how i was keeping it, and the pede is being kept at a constant 75 daytime 65 nitetime temp. This particular specimen is only exhibiting a tiny bit of mycosis, so rather than keep the debaani cooler I think I will continue to monitor the temps and keep it fairly dry and see how it goes. It does have a decent sized creme brulee ramekin for water access and it is currently very lively. Possibly it is also gravid, it's a fresh import Vietnam dehaani. Obviously if it does drop I will bump humidity accordingly for the sake of the brood. But until then I think you may be onto something. Also the ph is something I wanna look at more for pedes, I've been playing with ph for isopod cultures. I'm actually going to be sourcing some raw limestone in the future and I may just toss some in with my S.heros. @l4nsky brought some good points also and this thread is proving to be exactly what i wanted it to be, the knowledge shared here is priceless to me.
 

Dry Desert

Arachnobaron
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@Bill S well said, I've actually just switched the only dehaani i keep over to "new out of bag" dry soil. Its not bone dry but it is significantly drier than how i was keeping it, and the pede is being kept at a constant 75 daytime 65 nitetime temp. This particular specimen is only exhibiting a tiny bit of mycosis, so rather than keep the debaani cooler I think I will continue to monitor the temps and keep it fairly dry and see how it goes. It does have a decent sized creme brulee ramekin for water access and it is currently very lively. Possibly it is also gravid, it's a fresh import Vietnam dehaani. Obviously if it does drop I will bump humidity accordingly for the sake of the brood. But until then I think you may be onto something. Also the ph is something I wanna look at more for pedes, I've been playing with ph for isopod cultures. I'm actually going to be sourcing some raw limestone in the future and I may just toss some in with my S.heros. @l4nsky brought some good points also and this thread is proving to be exactly what i wanted it to be, the knowledge shared here is priceless to me.
If I can speak from experience with Arid Desert species of scorpions with reference to Mycosis. One commonly kept species - Hadrurus arizonensis - is very prone to Mycosis if not kept correctly. The best way to prevent the start of Mycosis is to have an almost sterile substrate, humidity no greater than 50% and temps. in the lower to mid 90's F.However one of the most important factors is Ventilation, Maximum ventilation with good air change is essential, if ever I need to keep arid species in glass tanks the tops are always completly open and with heat lamps above forcing warm air down thus drawing in cooler air from the sides.Also I found that having a permanent water dish in the enclosure keeps the humidity too high, again with arid type scorpions I only offer a water dish once every 2 weeks and then only for 24 hrs.Obviously this is different for high humidity Asian forest species of scorpions, however they can still suffer from Mycoscis but being black it is never noticable, which probably accounts for unexplained sudden deaths in tropical forest scorpions which is usually put down to them being wild caught , or old age. So , in my experience, a combination of bad substrate, high humidity and poor ventilation will always lead to Mycosis. ( The Lower the temp. the Higher the humidity )
 

REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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If I can speak from experience with Arid Desert species of scorpions with reference to Mycosis. One commonly kept species - Hadrurus arizonensis - is very prone to Mycosis if not kept correctly. The best way to prevent the start of Mycosis is to have an almost sterile substrate, humidity no greater than 50% and temps. in the lower to mid 90's F.However one of the most important factors is Ventilation, Maximum ventilation with good air change is essential, if ever I need to keep arid species in glass tanks the tops are always completly open and with heat lamps above forcing warm air down thus drawing in cooler air from the sides.Also I found that having a permanent water dish in the enclosure keeps the humidity too high, again with arid type scorpions I only offer a water dish once every 2 weeks and then only for 24 hrs.Obviously this is different for high humidity Asian forest species of scorpions, however they can still suffer from Mycoscis but being black it is never noticable, which probably accounts for unexplained sudden deaths in tropical forest scorpions which is usually put down to them being wild caught , or old age. So , in my experience, a combination of bad substrate, high humidity and poor ventilation will always lead to Mycosis. ( The Lower the temp. the Higher the humidity )
This is all great info, regarding the removal of dishes for arid species I've been playing around with the idea myself, I've just opted to use much smaller water dishes than i normally would to reduce humidity, though removing them completely periodically and offering them for a water period may be the better route. I've actually been trying to figure how i can keep all my projects in open air vivs or containers like you described, it's cool to hear ideas I've pondered in my head getting applied by others. Certainly reassuring.
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
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The observations are really valuable, but the theory is an over-simplification, and as such is bound to be incomplete, let me explain why.

If you have a sterile substrate, with a single species of fungus growing, then provided humidity and CO2/oxygen levels are OK, increasing the temperature will increase the growth rate of the fungus - up to a certain point, after which it drops. But that is on a sterile substrate, which doesn't happen in nature. In nature a fungus is in interaction and competition with 100's of other micro-organisms. So it could be that on substrate X, a temperature of 25C favours micro-organism A, which helps the fungus to grow, but if the temperature increases to 28C then micro-organism B (a bacteria, or another fungus) does better, and that one happens to produce an anti-fungal which impedes our fungus's growth. So 25C is better than 28C. But as our fungus grows and dissolves the substrate and its composition changes, causing the PH to drop, and once it goes below 6.5 then 25C favours micro-organism C, which out-competes our fungus, so at that stage 28C could be better. But if all of this happens at 15% higher humidity, then micro-organism D becomes a contender and the playing field changes yet again.

This hopefully illustrates the complexity of guessing which factor will favour one specific fungus or micro-organism over others, and just that's on a dead substrate... On a living substrate (such as a centipede) it gets even more complex. The fight against the fungus is being waged not just by the centipede's immune system, but also the bacteria living on and in the centipede, which in turn are affected by the centipede's diet, temperature etc... We recently discovered that humans fight lung infections not with their own antibodies, but with proteins produced by our gut bacteria! So it could well turn out that temperature plays far less important a role in a centipede's fight against mycosis than how the contents of its gut support the bacteria which create the antibodies it needs (just speculating, but this is totally plausible).

Sometimes such generalisations seem to apply, such as how El Nino weather which creates warmer surface water temperatures results in increased numbers of bacterial infections in sharks, and it's tempting to believe there was a simple direct causation. But who's not to say that a drop in temperatures would have had the same effect - just with a different bacteria?

Further, considering how dynamic the interactions are, saying things like "increasing the temperature worked for me" (and I've been guilty of saying that myself) is not helpful when applied to an environment with different factors. E.g. if I increase temperature to 28C and it heals my pede's mycosis. You try the same, but your enclosure only has only 50% of the ventilation surface mine does, and the bump to 28C creates a sauna rather than dry the air out, which is what cure my pede's mycosis (all speculative again, but an example of how "single factor" remedies can backfire)

The answer to all this is detailed scientific observation. If we can establish statistical correlation between factors such as temperature, humidity, ventilation, PH and measurable mycosis levels, then we can apply the patterns without even needing to understand the theory in most cases. However, hoping that a simple theory will hold out in a complex and dynamic system is not much more effective than rolling dice.
 

Dry Desert

Arachnobaron
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Let's mention a few established facts rather than " bucket fulls of Generalisations "

Firstly as of to-day there is no cure for Mycosis in inverts - no one has implied that raising the temp. will cure Mycosis as there is no cure.

Secondly having all known factors working together ie:- High temp. Good ventilation, Low humidity and a substrate that is all but sterile - so as not to introduce bacteria into an enclosed environment - should keep most bacteria at bay.
As we know any bacteria is hard, if not impossible, to kill. However the three main temp. ranges for bacteria are:-
Below 4.4 C Dormant Stage
4.4 C - 60 C Growing Range ( Optimum growth range 50 - 60 C )
Exposure above 70 c Most cells die. This is why DHWS ( Domestic Hot Water Services ) in industry has to be sterilized above 65 C, - 70 C is better.

Thirdly I don't think all the scientific theories relating to Mycosis is the answer - educating keepers in the correct husbandry and them knowing what to aim for, temp. humidity, ventilation etc. wise, is the way to prevent Mycosis getting hold in the first place, as I am sure Mycosis doesn't exist in nature in very hot, arid landscapes. It's only when we keep our charges in less than ideal conditions is when Mycosis comes to the surface having probably laid dormant waiting for the right ( WRONG ) conditions to be delived on a plate.
As stated previously there is no cure for Mycosis, raising the temp. changing the substrate etc. does not cure anything it just prevents the bacteria spreading.
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
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Let's mention a few established facts rather than " bucket fulls of Generalisations "

Firstly as of to-day there is no cure for Mycosis in inverts - no one has implied that raising the temp. will cure Mycosis as there is no cure.

Secondly having all known factors working together ie:- High temp. Good ventilation, Low humidity and a substrate that is all but sterile - so as not to introduce bacteria into an enclosed environment - should keep most bacteria at bay.
As we know any bacteria is hard, if not impossible, to kill. However the three main temp. ranges for bacteria are:-
Below 4.4 C Dormant Stage
4.4 C - 60 C Growing Range ( Optimum growth range 50 - 60 C )
Exposure above 70 c Most cells die. This is why DHWS ( Domestic Hot Water Services ) in industry has to be sterilized above 65 C, - 70 C is better.

Thirdly I don't think all the scientific theories relating to Mycosis is the answer - educating keepers in the correct husbandry and them knowing what to aim for, temp. humidity, ventilation etc. wise, is the way to prevent Mycosis getting hold in the first place, as I am sure Mycosis doesn't exist in nature in very hot, arid landscapes. It's only when we keep our charges in less than ideal conditions is when Mycosis comes to the surface having probably laid dormant waiting for the right ( WRONG ) conditions to be delived on a plate.
As stated previously there is no cure for Mycosis, raising the temp. changing the substrate etc. does not cure anything it just prevents the bacteria spreading.
Sorry to call you out so bluntly but that post is grossly incorrect on a number of points:
  1. Mycosis is a fungal infection, not a bacterial infection, so everything you just said about bacteria is great info but totally irrelevant to mycosis. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycosis
  2. Mycosis in invertebrates can be cured. Many centipede keepers have successfully cleared it up from their specimens by drying them out, and not have it come back. Further I'm sure a number of anti-fungal treatments developed for medicine would be effective too, although we have no idea what side-effects they might have on inverts.
  3. Mycosis does happen in the wild, a lot. Many WC centipedes come in with it already established, even from pretty arid areas. Scroll through these forums to see how many WC S.heros and S.gigantea came in with it.
 

Dry Desert

Arachnobaron
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So with all this information you have at your disposal you can now set about telling all these keepers that are SILLY enough to buy in infected inverts how to go about curing them, and there will no longer be a a problem with Mycosis ever again.
 

Scoly

Arachnobaron
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So with all this information you have at your disposal you can now set about telling all these keepers that are SILLY enough to buy in infected inverts how to go about curing them, and there will no longer be a a problem with Mycosis ever again.
Sorry to have to call you out again, but that's yet another post which is incorrect on a number of points:
  1. People don't know in advance when the invert they are ordering has mycosis (Mostly we don't see photos of the actual specimen, and many shops specialise in spiders and wouldn't know how to spot mycosis on a pede. Please don't extrapolate that to call everyone who has ever ordered a pede with mycosis SILLY, as you've just insulted half the forum.)
  2. I did not indicate that I was setting about telling these keepers how to cure mycosis.
  3. I did not indicate that the fact some cures work mean that mycosis will never be a problem ever again.
That's the fact correction out of the way, but I'm going to follow this up by reminding you that this forum exists to share experiences about keeping arachnids and other inverts, primarily so that we may all learn how to keep them better. It's great fun taking part in this, but the flip side is that if you post something which is patently wrong (such as calling mycosis a bacterial infection) then expect someone will call you out on it, because misinformation is harmful. It happens to everyone, and you simply need to acknowledge it and move on, no one is going to shoot you for being wrong.

However, trying to come back at the person who corrected you with derogatory remarks, a nonsensical argument, or inferring that they said things which they clearly didn't, is just going to make you look like an even bigger idiot, so please think twice about doing that again.
 

Dry Desert

Arachnobaron
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Sorry to have to call you out again, but that's yet another post which is incorrect on a number of points:
  1. People don't know in advance when the invert they are ordering has mycosis (Mostly we don't see photos of the actual specimen, and many shops specialise in spiders and wouldn't know how to spot mycosis on a pede. Please don't extrapolate that to call everyone who has ever ordered a pede with mycosis SILLY, as you've just insulted half the forum.)
  2. I did not indicate that I was setting about telling these keepers how to cure mycosis.
  3. I did not indicate that the fact some cures work mean that mycosis will never be a problem ever again.
That's the fact correction out of the way, but I'm going to follow this up by reminding you that this forum exists to share experiences about keeping arachnids and other inverts, primarily so that we may all learn how to keep them better. It's great fun taking part in this, but the flip side is that if you post something which is patently wrong (such as calling mycosis a bacterial infection) then expect someone will call you out on it, because misinformation is harmful. It happens to everyone, and you simply need to acknowledge it and move on, no one is going to shoot you for being wrong.

However, trying to come back at the person who corrected you with derogatory remarks, a nonsensical argument, or inferring that they said things which they clearly didn't, is just going to make you look like an even bigger idiot, so please think twice about doing that again.
Please don't reply to this as thanks to people like yourself I am closing my account.
 

l4nsky

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Ok, so I have to preface this with the following disclaimer: I am NOT a microbiologist, zoologist, or Infectious disease specialist. I am a person who loves research, cold blooded animals, and I have a deep interest in mycology. As such, this is going to be a little long winded and I welcome all discourse on my theory (I admit, this topic has sent me down a rabbit hole. I even said Hi to Alice lol)


So, as it’s been pointed out in the past, we really know little to nothing about mycosis in invertebrates. The very fact that we call it mycosis displays our ignorance (as the definition of mycosis is a general fungal infection) to what is actually going on. We don’t know what species (singular or plural) of fungi are the cause, and as such we can’t know what the optimal or sub-optimal growth parameters are or a treatment regimen. Until someone can isolate and ID the fungus from an infected centipede, all we have is anecdotal evidence and treatments. So, what do we know?


  • We know that it infects invertebrates

  • We know that it is widespread. Species from different continents are collected or imported already possessing the infection

  • We believe it is fungal.

  • We know that the disease we call mycosis appears as dark spots on the exterior of the animal, primarily on legs but sometimes on the antenna and other parts of the body.

  • We know that high humidity and moisture exacerbates the disease and that drier substrate can help animals with lesser infections recover (more evidence pointing to fungal)

  • We know that both species that are tropical and kept with high humidity are prone, as are dry species kept with too much humidity. At the same time, some keepers have reported keeping species like S. subspinipes in moist, high humidity environments for years without issue, defying the common creed that these environmental conditions are the sole cause of the disease.

  • We know that healthy animals that have been imported can acquire the disease years down the road, in an entirely different hemisphere.

  • We know that animals kept in both bioactive enclosures with higher nutrient levels in the soil and nutrient poor semi sterile environments (pure coir for example) can contract this disease.


Now, with what we know, I’ve made a few inferences from this data to work from:

  • I believe it is a singular, wide ranging species that causes mycosis in invertebrates. Sure, it’s entirely possible that multiple species of fungi could cause an infection with the same symptoms and signs (dark spots, lethargy, etc), but in this case I’m invoking Occam’s Razor and theorizing it’s one species. This species must have a broad range and be highly prevalent to infect so many different inverts from different continents, be highly adaptable to different environments, be known to cause cutaneous mycosis in invertebrates, produce black or dark signs of infection, and can survive with little nutrition in a semi sterile environment if necessary.

  • I believe that there is some other factor at play besides environment causing the infection. I believe it is stress. Stress compromises the immune system, allowing the fungus to take ahold. This would explain why some animals get it and some don’t in high humidity environments. This also explains why we see frequent imports of infected specimens (stress from collection/shipping and infected or stressed animals are easier to collect), and why animals can catch it years down the road (when they get stressed, they’ll become susceptible to the fungi, which is probably already present, being widespread).


So, knowing and theorizing all of this, I think I’ve found a likely candidate for the cause of the infections: Aspergillus niger. Hear me out really quick before you decide to throw stones:

  • Aspergillus niger is a global species of mold, one of the most common Aspergillus sp, and is commonly known as black mold, infecting pretty much anything, from food to coral to humans. The spores are omnipresent, yet they won’t harm an animal with a healthy and uncompromised immune system, except in extremely high doses.

  • Aspergillus sp are known to cause mycosis (even the wiki page for mycosis uses a picture of an Aspergillus infection as it’s default)

  • Aspergillus sp, like other molds, thrive in high moisture and high humidity environments with little ventilation.

  • Aspergillus sp are oligotrophs, meaning organisms that can survive in low nutrient environments.


And here’s the kicker:

  • According to the AZA’s Veterinarians Infectious Disease Committee Manual from 2013, Aspergillus infections (called Aspergillosis) can infect invertebrates, can present as a cutaneous (or skin, external) disease, have the worst impact on immunocompromised specimens (stressed specimens), and can present nonspecific signs such as lethargy and weakness. (It's a PDF download here: https://www.aazv.org/resource/resmgr/IDM/IDM_Aspergillosis_2013.pdf)


IF, and this is a big IF, A. niger or another species of Aspergillus is the culprit, this isn’t necessarily good news. They are highly adaptable and virulent. They grow best anywhere between 77 and 104 degrees, (with 86 to 95 being the sweet spot), can survive on little nutrition, and the spores are pretty much anywhere, indoors and out. We also know that Aspergillus sp can withstand a large pH range (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2049282) and are actually more tolerant of basic pH over acidic pH


(I would like to stop here real quick. If I’m on to something, this means I have to eat crow here for my previous theory about higher temps and basic PH. I know from my fungiculture experience that high temps are lethal to a lot of species, but not these. As such, if anyone would have followed my idea, their pede would be dead. The heat would stress them and the fungi would love it)


However, there is some good news. We know high ventilation and low moisture levels have worked in the past, and they do have an adverse effect on mold growth. We also know that Aspergillus niger doesn’t grow under 59 degrees. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it on the positive side I've discovered so far.


Now, I think I’m done. If you made it this far, congratulations. You got to read all of my crazy conspiracy theory. Thoughts anyone?


Thanks,

--Matt


Too Long, Dont Read: I believe Aspergillus niger (black mold) causes mycosis. Read to find out why.
 
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