New research shows that house flies can spread more diseases than it was previously believed. A team of scientists discovered that such buzzers are capable of spread even bacteria which was previously unsuspected to ride on these insects. Also, the scientists observed that a fly could be ‘hijacked’ and used as surveillance to track pathogen outbreaks.
House Flies and Dangers They Bring with Them
A recently released study suggests that house flies can infect people with more bacteria than expected. A team of Nanyang Technological University scientists managed to find a new method of gathering flies without contaminating them with microorganisms. Then, the researchers sequenced DNA samples collected from every part of their bodies. This way, the researchers were able to identify the species of bacteria the flies had picked up.
This helped the specialists discover that flies catch bacteria with their legs and spread it on their wings. Once they sit on something, the flies get rid of the bacteria and leave it there. To conduct this study, the researcher team monitored 116 species of blowflies and house ones. The scientists separated the generic data which corresponded with the symbiotic bacteria and chromosomes. All of the remaining RNA and DNA was checked with the help of a database which contained data on all the currently known bacteria.
This research showed that house flies might help spread hundreds of bacteria, some of them linked to human diseases. For instance, one bacterium, known as Helicobacter pylori can be found on some of the flies. This bacteria can cause gastric cancer and stomach ulcers. Until now, it was unknown that house flies could carry this bacterium.
Still, the researchers also came with some good news. The team believes that they can use lab flies to bread germ-free specimens. These could then be released and act like bacterial surveillance drones. In turn, this might help scientists gather more data about bacteria.
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