A nematode-trapping fungus has been shown in laboratory tests to be highly effective in killing the threadworms that infect horses.
Majid Zarrin and his colleagues have described their work to assess the laboratory performance of isolates from four fungi, Duddingtonia flagrans, Fusarium solani, Verticillium chlamidosporium, and Trichoderma harzianum against third-stage larval threadworms.
The study team from the Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran collected larvae of the Strongyloidae [threadworm] family from horse faeces for testing against several dozen live larvae at a time.
They found that D. flagrans was the most effective of the four, killing 100% of the larvae after 14 days of incubation. A significant effect was seen after 7 days of incubation.
Significant reductions in live larvae were also seen for V. chlamidosporium, F. solani and T. harzianum.
V. chlamidosporium killed all the larvae after 21 days, while F. solani had three left alive after the three weeks and T. harzianum left eight.
The population of control larvae had dropped from 80 live larvae to 40 after the 21 days.
All experiments were repeated three times.
The researchers, writing in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, discussed the rise of resistance to traditional wormers, saying development of new techniques were required to control parasites.
Several fungal species have been investigated as potential agents for biological control, they noted. One of the most well known is D. flagrans. It develops three-dimensional nets which can catch and destroy infective larvae.
“Styles of traps have been investigated in detail in some predatory fungi,” they noted, saying they were critical tools used by the parasite-trapping fungus to capture and kill nematodes.
“In our study, the use of D. flagrans for biological control of larva nematodes has great potential.”
Further studies of the biological effectiveness of such fungi in the field were required to obtain
applicable strategies to control nematode larvae contamination, they said.
The study team comprised Zarrin, Mahmoud Rahdar, Farzad Poormohamadi and Ali Rezaei-Matehkolaei.
In Vitro Nematophagous Activity of Predatory Fungi on Infective Nematodes Larval Stage of Strongyloidae Family
Majid Zarrin1, Mahmoud Rahdar, Farzad Poormohamadi, Ali Rezaei-Matehkolaei
Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2017 Jun 15; 5(3):281-284.