Location: Livestock Arthropod Pest Research UnitTitle: Development of a diagnostic SNP panel for identifying geographic origins of Cochliomyia hominivorax, the New World screwworm
Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2023
Publication Date: 1/24/2023
Citation: Tietjen, M., Arp, A.P., Lohmeyer, K.H. 2023. Development of a diagnostic SNP panel for identifying geographic origins of Cochliomyia hominivorax, the New World screwworm. Veterinary Parasitology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2023.109884.
Interpretive Summary: The New World screwworm fly has been eradicated in North and Central America but they are still a threat to humans and livestock as outbreaks can and do occur. In order to stop introductory pathways, we need to be able to trace their origin. A laboratory assay was created that uses six molecular markers to identify the region a fly originated from for use in potential future outbreaks.
Technical Abstract: The New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, causes myiasis in livestock, humans, and other warm-blooded animals in much of South America and the Caribbean. It has been eradicated from North and Central America using the sterile insect technique and a biological barrier is currently maintained at the Panama - Colombian border. However, C. hominivorax is still a threat to eradicated areas as outbreaks can and do occur. In order to identify the origin of a fly involved in an outbreak scenario, a diagnostic SNP panel would be beneficial. Recently, the geographic population structure of this species was identified using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Here we characterize the three major regional clusters: South America, the Inner Caribbean, and the Outer Caribbean. With these clusters a diagnostic SNP panel was developed using two unique SNPs per region for a total of six SNPs. This diagnostic SNP assay will allow for rapid source determination of flies from future incursions in order to intercept introductory pathways and aid in the control of New World screwworm.