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oil dwelling nematodes

James R Coggins coggins at alpha1.csd.uwm.edu
Tue Jun 21 14:53:44 EST 1994

   I was recently approached by representatives of a local machine shop who
said that they had a contamination problem in the cooling oil for their
machines.  Apparently the cooling oil in question is mixed with water to
make a mixture approximately 5% oil.  The coolant is sprayed onto the
machines during the grinding, milling operations.  
   Upon examination I agree that they do have nematodes in this coolant oil
mixture.  The specimens I obtained by centrifuging the oil were not numerous
and all were dead.  Most were female, approximately 0.97mm in length, the
vulva occurred about halfway down the body, the esophagus was about 0. 175mm
in length and there appeared to be a pronounced rectum.  It is possible that
I saw two ovaries but I was not sure of that.  
   I did see a lot of contamination, much of which appeared to be fungal in
nature.  The representative told me that the nematodes appeared to be
associated with the fungal mats although I did not observe this to be the
   Is there anyone on this list who might have had contact with nematodes
that are able to survive in such an oil mixture?  Any help would be
appreciated.  My initial thought is that these are free-living nematodes
that are feeding on either the contanimation that occurs in the machine shop
environment or on the fatty acids that make up the oil.  These people are
concerned that these worms might be a potiential pathogen or at least
infective to their workers.  I have never had a problem like this presented
to me before and I do not recognize these as the typical parasitic worms.

James R. Coggins
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI                53201

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