Saving silkworms: Current approaches to combat Microsporidiosis

Dec 05, 2012
Credit: denthewise

A recent publication by Singh and colleagues in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science explores a range of methods to combat microsporidiosis, a highly infective disease affecting silkworms - a key task that determines the future of the sericulture industry.

Microsporidiosis is a disease caused by highly infective parasitic microsporidian. The of microsporidian, known as pebrine, infect almost all ages, stages, breeds and hybrids of . A recent publication by Singh and colleagues in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science explores a range of methods to combat this disease - a key task that determines the future of the sericulture industry.

The disease is primarily transmitted to silkworm eggs within the body of the infected mother , but also externally, for example by rearing healthy silkworms with infected larvae. Infections could lead to loss to the sericulture industry and causes instability to the volume of silk outputs. Efforts have been made to eliminate pebrine but so far with limited success. In order to help save silk production, the authors reviewed recent studies presenting different aspects of pebrine.

Previous research has identified various approaches to save silkworms. One of the most effective methods, according to the authors, is based on the selection of pathogen-free eggs through a systematic examination of the mother moths after laying eggs. Recently, microscopic test using mother moths was introduced as an easy and accurate diagnosing technique.

Furthermore, a three-tier examination approach (larval, pupal and moth) is used for . Thermal treatment, and monoclonal antibody technique also help minimize pebrine infections.

The disease is becoming increasingly complex because of increasing number of different types of microsporidian infecting silkworms. Currently there is no one technique that is able to quickly identify the type of parasite involved which makes it more difficult for silkworm breeders to take appropriate action. While the methods described here are used to prevent pebrine, finding a more effective, all-round approach remains the task for future research.

Explore further: Sea star disease strikes peninsula marine centers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Silkworms spinning spider webs

Jan 03, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- A spiders silk is strong and more elastic and has a large range of possible medical applications. However, spiders have a history of being territorial and prone to cannibalism, so the idea ...

The secret behind silkworm's hardy stomachs

May 27, 2008

Silkworms have a unique ability to eat toxic mulberry leaves without feeling ill, and researchers have come one step closer to understanding why: silkworms contain a special digestive enzyme that is not affected ...

Why silkworms find mulberries attractive

May 07, 2009

A new study published online on May 7th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, has found the source of silkworms' attraction to mulberry leaves, their primary food source. A jasmine-scented chemical emitte ...

Recommended for you

Seeds keep vital much longer when stored without oxygen

10 hours ago

If seed breeding companies, gene banks and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on Spitsbergen should store plant seeds under oxygen-poor conditions, it would be possible to store them for much longer while still ...

Native species may be hindering fox control efforts

11 hours ago

Native species interfering with ground distributed baits used to control red foxes in south west Western Australia may mean the baits are not available to the target species, a Murdoch University study has ...

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

Jul 26, 2014

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

User comments : 0