If you are one of those people who do not like flies rounding their food, you chose the right team.
A team of international scientists discovered Friday that maintaining flies away from human food is actually more intelligent than it was already thought before. The experts found that these animals are able to carry hundreds of different diseases in their legs and wings, thus contaminating the places they land on.
The researchers recommended in the study published in the journal Scientific Report not to eat any food that has been in contact with these animals. According to them, flies are often touching garbage, feces, and other million of sources of bacteria.
They said that the knowledge about flies transmitting diseases is something not new at all. However, they are now scientifically verifying the common behavior most people take when in front of these animals.
”People had some notion that there were pathogens that were carried by flies but had no idea of the extent to which this is true and the extent to which they are transferred,” told the co-researchers and Prof Donald Bryant of Penn State University to BBC News.
Flies habit almost any place with not-very-low temperatures. This is why the experts recommended those living in that kind of environments, and usually frequenting open spaces, to be careful and watch their food.
Hundreds of diseases carried by just one insect
A team of scientists from Pennsylvania State University, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro used data from 116 houseflies (Musca domestica) and blowflies (Chrysomya megacephala) and employed DNA sequencing techniques to study their microbes. According to them, they gathered the animals around three different continents.
The scientists found that the houseflies were able to carry around 351 different types of bacteria, and the blowflies around 316. In addition, they said that a lot of these bacteria were found to be carried by both of the species.
Among all the hundreds of bacteria found living in the flies’ wings and legs, the researchers said that one of the most common pathogens was the Helicobacter pylori – which provokes ulcers in the gut. In addition, they said that those individuals living in cities were found to carry more germs than those who frequent rural areas.
The blowflies and houseflies were discovered to be one of the most dangerous flies species due to the high number of bacteria they carry, and the near they usually are to humans. According to the scientists, these animals nurture their young species with feces and decaying organic matter
“[The study] will really make you think twice about eating that potato salad that’s been sitting out at your next picnic,” said Professor Donald Bryant. “We believe that this may show a mechanism for pathogen transmission that has been overlooked by public health officials, and flies may contribute to the rapid transmission of pathogens in outbreak situations.”
After all of this, the researchers said that public health officials might have overlooked the animals to note them as a source of disease outbreaks.
Source: Scientific Journal