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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: A mathematic model that describes modes of MdSGHV transmission within house fly populations

item Vallejo, Celeste
item Lee, Joann
item Keesling, James
item Geden, Christopher - Chris
item Lietze, Verena-ulrike
item Boucias, Drion

Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2013
Publication Date: 11/20/2013
Citation: Vallejo, C.R., Lee, J., Keesling, J.E., Geden, C.J., Lietze, V., Boucias, D.G. 2013. A mathematic model that describes modes of MdSGHV transmission within house fly populations. Insects. 4:683-693.

Interpretive Summary: Musca domestica Salivary gland hypertrophy virus (MdSGHV) is a recently-described viral pathogen that infects adult house flies, which are serious pests associated with animal manure and other organic waste materials. Infection with the virus makes female flies sterile and shortens their lifespan by about half. Efforts to use MdSGHV for practical fly management have been hampered by uncertainty about how it transmitted among flies in nature. In this paper, a group of mathematical modelers at the University of Florida (UF) partnered with UF entomologists and a research entomologist with USDA’s Center for Medical Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology to explore the dynamics of virus transmission. The resulting model predicts that an important route of natural infection is via virus entry through breaks in the insect cuticle. These breaks are the result of natural wounding that occurs as the flies age, especially male flies. The results provide useful insights for developing new approaches to delivering the virus in a practical way to infect flies under field conditions.

Technical Abstract: In this paper it is proposed that one potential component by which the Musca domestica salivary gland hypertrophy virus (MdSGHV) infects individual flies is through cuticular damage. Breaks in the cuticle allow entry of the virus into the hemocoel causing the infection. Male flies typically have a higher rate of infection and a higher rate of cuticular damage than females. A model for the transmission of MdSGHV was formulated assuming several potential and recognized means of transmission. Differential equations were developed and solved to obtain parameter estimates for the model. The model yields results that are in agreement with field data that measured the infection rate in house flies on dairy farms in Florida.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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