Application of Flubendazole in tretament of Trichomona and Hexamita (Spironucleus muris)
By Charles Harrison
Flubendazole is an antihelmetic (or vermicide or "worm killer") ad not an antibiotic. It do not control bacteria or fungal infections and in fact may escalate these problems as they kill off the other infections. This compound is not a cure all.
Flubendazole is useful for controlling intestinal parasites, especially protozoa,
some nematodes and gill flukes. Flubendazole is active through adsorption into the fishes skin
and gills and does not have to be eaten to be effective which makes the drug useful for
treating fishes which have stopped eating because of irritation due to infection of the throat and gut.
pure compound has very limited solubility in water. Effective dosing is generally done with a
medication powder form of 5 to 15% in some simple sugar like Sorbatol. I have available the
Effective treatment can be achieved with a dose of 1/2 gram of 10% Flubendazole per 20
gallons of treated water. A much higher economical treatment can be achieved by removing
half of the water in the treated tank as long as the usual aeration and mixing can be maintained.
Flubendazole does scavenge Oxygen from the water and sufficient surface movement should
be maintained to assure there are no problems with dissolved air. Much higher dosing may be
necessary in some persistent Protozoa infestations.
The hydra-killing Flubendazole that I used in my office aquarium to eradicate hydra led
me to a larger realization. The “wasting” fish in that tank seemed to become cured when I added
Flubendazole to the water which was quite a remarkable revelation. My intent was to
remove the hydra and any possible nematodes and, to my surprise, the disease I have found to be
associated with a particular protozoan species was cured.
Recently I have experimented with anthelmintics (de-worming drugs) in general and
specifically with Flubendazole. The drug metronidazole (Flagyl®), which is not considered an
anthelmintic, is used to systemically treat another infection caused by a flagellated protozoan,
Trichomonas. Much of the aquarium literature recommends this drug to treat for Hexamita. I
have become keenly interested in the Bendazole group of compounds since publication of my
article on the use of Lavamisole HCl to eradicate Camallanus treatment with in JAKA2
There is something common in this thread—the protozoans. Both Trichomonas and
Hexamita are flagellated protozoa. I have been following some of these little animals around
since the 1970s when I worked in Public Health. Hexamita is a relative of Trichomonas
vaginalis. They are both pear shaped protozoans with undulating flagella that enable locomotion.
In fish; as long as food passes through the gut and flushes away the Hexamita there is usually no
problem. If, however, the fish has a period of little or no food, hence little or no movement
through the gut, the infection and irritation flares up. The fish cannot swallow because of the
irritation and it just spits out its food. Some aquaria show the infection only after the keeper
changes the food or the feeding regimen, or forgets a water change. Being asymptomatic is
typical both in birds and fish. Moreover, aquarium residents don't show the affliction equally