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Acta Trop. 2001 Jan 15;78(1):31-4.

Vector potential of houseflies (Musca domestica) in the transmission of Vibrio cholerae in India.

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Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 110029, New Delhi, India.


It is well known that diarrhoeal infections due to Vibrio cholerae are spread through fecal-oral route of transmission. In the present study an attempt was made to isolate and identify V. cholerae from houseflies, Musca domestica collected from a low socioeconomic area in Delhi, India, where an outbreak of cholera was encountered. Of the ten fly pools examined, six (60%) were positive for V. cholerae. Of these six pools, three (50%) showed V. cholerae Ogawa T2 El Tor and one (17.5%) V. cholerae non-O1. Two isolates could not be typed. During the outbreak period, V. cholerae Ogawa T2 El Tor was isolated from stools of patients suffering from diarrhoea. These findings suggest that houseflies act as mechanical vectors of V. cholerae biotype El Tor and may help in their dissemination. The present study highlights the recovery of V. cholerae El Tor from M. domestica which, to the authors knowledge, has not been reported previously.

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