Published on Fri Nov 14 2003

Mechanical transmission of turkey coronavirus by domestic houseflies (Musca domestica Linnaeaus).

Dawn Calibeo-Hayes, Steve S Denning, S M Stringham, James S Guy, Lynda G Smith, D Wes Watson
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Abstract

Domestic houseflies (Musca domestica Linnaeaus) were examined for their ability to harbor and transmit turkey coronavirus (TCV). Laboratory-reared flies were experimentally exposed to TCV by allowing flies to imbibe an inoculum comprised of turkey embryo-propagated virus (NC95 strain). TCV was detected in dissected crops from exposed flies for up to 9 hr postexposure; no virus was detected in crops of sham-exposed flies. TCV was not detected in dissected intestinal tissues collected from exposed or sham-exposed flies at any time postexposure. The potential of the housefly to directly transmit TCV to live turkey poults was examined by placing 7-day-old turkey poults in contact with TCV-exposed houseflies 3 hr after flies consumed TCV inoculum. TCV infection was detected in turkeys placed in contact with TCV-exposed flies at densities as low as one fly/bird (TCV antigens detected at 3 days post fly contact in tissues of 3/12 turkeys); however, increased rates of infection were observed with higher fly densities (TCV antigens detected in 9/12 turkeys after contact with 10 flies/bird). This study demonstrates the potential of the housefly to serve as a mechanical vector of TCV.