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Flies Impacting Livestock, Poultry and Food Safety

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Project Description: 

House flies are the major vector of numerous food pathogens (e.g., Escherichia coli). It has been suggested that the fly crop is the major reservoir for the pathogen and also that this is where horizontal transmission of antibiotic resistance occurs. The salivary glands of most flies involved in vectoring pathogens are also involved in pathogen transmission and their nutrient and pathogen uptake while feeding. We know very little about those factors involved in the regulation of both crop filling and emptying. At the same time, we know even less about the effect of various pathogens on salivary gland regulation. By better understanding of how these two essential organ systems are regulated, we will obtain a better picture to explore how control strategies can be directed at interfering with the normal regulation of these two organ system. Ultimately, non-traditional control strategies will be developed that rely on interfering with the function of these two systems, which are so essential to the fly. Thus, compromised longevity, pathogen vectoring, and/or reproductive development of the flies can be interfered with resulting in death, abnormal flight ability, and/or reduced fecundity.

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