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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316172

Research Project: Management of Filth Flies

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: The house fly, Musca domestica: An overlooked vector of pathogens of public health significance

item Hogsette, Jerome - Jerry

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: During the time of Walter Reed in Cuba and in subsequent years of the early 20th century, the house fly lost its image of a being a good fly to have around, and became a dreaded vector of disease-causing organisms. In the US, it was dubbed the typhoid fly and many research projects were launched to learn more about its management and control. After the end of the Second World War, efforts were made in the US and other developed countries to improve sanitation by closing sewer lines and disposing of garbage and hospital waste in a manner which kept them out of the environment. Although the image of the fly as a scourge to human health was still proliferated in society, many times with the help of companies selling fly control devices, the tendency of flies to be held responsible for large scale transmission of pathogens seemed to decrease. Around the year 2000, publications began to appear in the literature indicating a renewed importance of the house fly as a vector of pathogens of public health significance, not only in the US, but in other countries as well. The US military considers flies to be a significant day-to-day pest that causes approximately 4% of personnel to be unable to perform their duties because of enteric disorders resulting from fly-transmitted pathogens. The purpose of this presentation is to increase the awareness among mosquito control experts that the house fly is more than just a nuisance. A brief history of pathogen transmission by house flies will be given, with emphasis on recent findings and current speculation about the possibility of house fly transmission of Ebola virus.