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Low Potential for Mechanical Transmission of Ebola Virus via House Flies (Musca domestica)

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Journal Article - Open Access

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US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases Frederick United States

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Background Ebola virus EBOV infection results in high morbidity and mortality and is primarily transmitted in communities by contact with infectious bodily fluids. While clinical and experimental evidence indicates that EBOV is transmitted via mucosal exposure, the ability of non-biting muscid flies to mechanically transmit EBOV following exposure to the face had not been assessed. Results To investigate this transmission route, house flies Musca domestica Linnaeus were used to deliver an EBOVblood mixture to the ocularnasaloral facial mucosa of four cynomolgus macaques Macaca fascicularis Raffles. Following exposure, macaques were monitored for evidence of infection through the conclusion of the study, days 57 and 58. We found no evidence of systemic infection in any of the exposed macaques. Conclusions The results of this study indicate that there is a low potential for the mechanical transmission of EBOV via house flies - the conditions in this study were not sufficient to initiate infection.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Microbiology

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