Disease has been described since 1989. Has caused immense casualties in many countries, but now seems to be coming under control. Probably of bacterial origin, one investigator claims Pseudomonas aeruginosa is causative species. It has in recent years also been reported in other species such as Tiger Barbs, as well as many other species.
Very contagious and very difficult to bring under control. Best to avoid any chance of infected stock.
The surest way to avoid this scourge is to ensure that all specimens are purchased from reliable disease free hatcheries. Once the disease has entered a breeders tanks, it is very hard to eliminate, even if all tanks are taken down and sterilised.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces an extracellular
deoxyribonuclease that is required for utilisation of DNA as a nutrient source.
microbial 2010 June Mulcahy H. et al.