Retention of Campylobacter (Campylobacterales: Campylobacteraceae) in the House Fly (Diptera: Muscidae)

H. Skovgard, K. Kristensen, Birthe Hald

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    The house fly (Musca domestica L.) may transmit Campylobacter to broiler flocks. We assessed the retention lime of house flies for Campylobacter jejuni at five temperatures and three doses. Flies were inoculated individually at their proboscis with 1.6 x 10(7) CFU (colony forming units) of C. jejuni and incubated at 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 degrees C. Furthermore, a dose experiment was conducted at 25 degrees C where individual flies were inoculated in three series: 6.5 X 10(6), 6.0 x 10(4), and 8.2 x 10(2) C. jejuni CFU. Whole flies were tested for C. jejuni carriage at 0, 6, 12, 18, and 24 h by initial preenrichment in Bolton broth, which afterwards was streaked on modified mCCDA agar plates and incubated under micro-aerobic conditions. The results showed that the time C. jejuni remained in flies declined over time with ascending temperatures and when reducing the inoculation dose. All flies stayed Campylobacter positive 24 h postinoculation at 15 degrees C whereas only one-third of the flies were positive at 20 degrees C and few to none at 25, 30, and 35 degrees C. When combinations of temperature and retention time were expressed as accumulated day-degrees, data could be adequately fitted using a generalized linear mixed model that included a linear effect of day-degrees and the difference between the lowest and the two highest doses. Based on model predictions of selected combinations of temperature and dose, the time for 50% and 1% of flies containing Campylobacter was calculated. It is suggested that house flies are mainly short distance carriers of C. jejuni.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)1202-1209
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Retention time
    • Musca domestica
    • Broilers
    • Campylobacter jejuni
    • Temperature


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