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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Oct;73(19):6030-5. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Isolation of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis from houseflies (Musca domestica) found in rooms containing Salmonella serovar Enteritidis-challenged hens.

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  • 1USDA/ARS ESQRU, 950 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA.


Houseflies (Musca domestica) released into rooms containing hens challenged with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (Salmonella serovar Enteritidis) rapidly became contaminated with Salmonella serovar Enteritidis. Forty to 50% of the flies were contaminated at 48 h, and the percentage increased to 50 to 70% at 4 and 7 days postexposure and then decreased to 30% at day 15. Initial attempts at recovering surface organisms for culture using an aqueous rinse were largely unsuccessful, while cultures of internal contents readily recovered Salmonella serovar Enteritidis. However, when 0.5% detergent was incorporated into the rinse, high recovery levels of bacteria were observed from both external and internal culture regimens, indicating equal distribution of the organism on and in the fly and a tighter interaction of the organism with the host than previously thought. Salmonella serovar Enteritidis was isolated routinely from the fly gut, on rare occasions from the crop, and never from the salivary gland. Feeding contaminated flies to hens resulted in gut colonization of a third of the birds, but release of contaminated flies in a room containing previously unchallenged hens failed to result in colonization of any of the subject birds. These results indicate that flies exposed to an environment containing Salmonella serovar Enteritidis can become colonized with the organism and might serve as a source for transmission of Salmonella serovar Enteritidis within a flock situation.

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