Human and other faeces as breeding media of the trachoma vector Musca sorbens


Emerson, PM; Bailey, RL; Walraven, GE; Lindsay, SW; (2001) Human and other faeces as breeding media of the trachoma vector Musca sorbens. Medical and veterinary entomology, 15 (3). pp. 314-20. ISSN 0269-283X DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.0269-283x.2001.00318.x

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Abstract

The fly Musca sorbens Wiedemann (Diptera: Muscidae) apparently transmits Chlamydia trachomatis, causing human trachoma. The literature indicates that M. sorbens breeds predominantly in isolated human faeces on the soil surface, but not in covered pit latrines. We sought to identify breeding media of M. sorbens in a rural Gambian village endemic for trachoma. Test breeding media were presented for oviposition on soil-filled buckets and monitored for adult emergence. Musca sorbens emerged from human (6/9 trials), calf (3/9), cow (3/9), dog (2/9) and goat (1/9) faeces, but not from horse faeces, composting kitchen scraps or a soil control (0/9 of each). After adjusting for mass of medium, the greatest number of flies emerged from human faeces (1426 flies/kg). Median time for emergence was 9 (inter quartile range = 8-9.75) days post-oviposition. Of all flies emerging from faeces 81% were M. sorbens. Male and female flies emerging from human faeces were significantly larger than those from other media, suggesting that they would be more fecund and live longer than smaller flies from other sources. Female flies caught from children's eyes were of a similar size to those from human faeces, but significantly larger than those from other media. We consider that human faeces are the best larval medium for M. sorbens, although some breeding also occurs in animal faeces. Removal of human faeces from the environment, through the provision of basic sanitation, is likely to greatly reduce fly density, eye contact and hence trachoma transmission, but if faeces of other animals are present M. sorbens will persist.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Animals, Domestic, Cattle, Child, Child, Preschool, Chlamydia trachomatis/growth & development, Dogs, Endemic Diseases, Feces/*parasitology, Female, Gambia, Goats, Horses, Human, Insect Vectors, Male, Middle Aged, Muscidae/*growth & development, Random Allocation, Rural Population, Sanitation, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Trachoma/epidemiology/transmission, Weather, Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Animals, Domestic, Cattle, Child, Child, Preschool, Chlamydia trachomatis, growth & development, Dogs, Endemic Diseases, Feces, parasitology, Female, Gambia, Goats, Horses, Human, Insect Vectors, Male, Middle Aged, Muscidae, growth & development, Random Allocation, Rural Population, Sanitation, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Trachoma, epidemiology, transmission, Weather
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: Neglected Tropical Diseases Network
PubMed ID: 11583450
Web of Science ID: 171127600012
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/15057

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