Troubleshooting: sick worms with white spots?

I’ve been attempting for months to eliminate some kind of contaminant that is making my worms ill. I’m not sure what it is - for sake of brevity, I’m calling it “the virus” here, but I am definitely open to suggestions! Bleaching appears to make the worms normal for 1-2 weeks. The worms then show “low viral load” symptoms: they appear physically normal, are very prone to starving out / running out of food (unclear if due to increased feeding or a change in reproduction/maturation rates),and have increased food-seeking behavior. About 3-4 weeks later, they show “high viral load” symptoms: overall they have reduced numbers (possibly reduced reproduction), increased spontaneous death, and very little food-seeking behavior, while some worms have white spots (especially at the L4 stage), and many worms look slightly more transparent than normal. Cleaning the lab / worm areas, new E. coli, new worm lines, raising worms on the counter (outside of the incubator), and new reagents for NGM agar have all been ineffective. Plates do not show any physical contamination, and bacterial lawns are thick and full. Symptoms appear in most or all of my lines. Has anyone seen this before? Any ideas on where my stocks might be getting contaminated that I haven’t already eliminated? Thanks in advance!!

Also: I have a figure of photos of the worms with white spots, but I can’t post it (or a link to it) as a new user. If anyone is able to make an exception so I could share that, or if an established user would be ok with me sending them the figure so they could post it to this thread, that would be appreciated! :slight_smile: