Houseflies on cattle farms may contribute to the spread of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among animals, their food supply and potentially humans say researchers from
E. coli, one of the leading causes of food-borne diseases throughout the world, is responsible for more than 73,000 cases annually in the
One of the potential modes of dissemination of this pathogen in the environment is by insects that are associated with animal feces and manure, primarily houseflies, say the researchers.
In the study, houseflies were gathered from the feed bunks of a cattle farm in
Our study demonstrated that houseflies carry virulent E. coli O157:H7 in the farm environment primarily during the summer and may play an important role in the ecology and transmission of this pathogen among individual cattle and potentially to the surrounding farm and urban environment, say the researchers.
Information on the association of E. coli O157:H7 with houseflies will assist in developing more comprehensive and quantitative risk assessments, as well as formulating E. coli O157:H7 intervention strategies that should include an effective HF management program.
(Alam M.J., Zurek L. 2004. Association of Escherichia coli O157:H7 with houseflies on a cattle farm. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70. 12: 7578-7580.)
Source: American Society for Microbiology