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Oviposition and host foraging cues of stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans), and their potential as vectors of microbial host pathogens

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.P.M.
Date created
2024-01-25
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans, are blood-feeding ectoparasitic pests of cattle. I studied mechanisms that underlie oviposition and host foraging behaviour of stable flies and investigated whether they transmit pathogens. I show that odor and moisture of oviposition sites play distinguishable functional roles in the close-range attraction of gravid flies and their propensity to oviposit, and that ammonia – alone or with carbon dioxide – attracts flies and induces oviposition. I further show that several Staphylococcus microbes in the bovine skin microbiome attract host-foraging flies, and that ammonia and odorants emitted by these Staphylococcus microbes attract flies. Finally, I show that stable flies are attracted to the skin-dwelling, mastitis-causing bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, and that they transmit S. aureus from infected blood to sterile blood. My data infer the existence of a positive feedback loop. As S. aureus bacteria of afflicted cows proliferate, they attract even more flies which, in turn, worsen the infection.
Document
Extent
158 pages.
Identifier
etd22897
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Permissions
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Gries, Gerhard
Language
English
Member of collection
Download file Size
etd22897.pdf 2.77 MB

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