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STUDIES ON THE ROLE OF HOUSEFLY (Musca domestica) IN THE TRANSMISSION OF MEDICALLY IMPORTANT PARASITES

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ABSTRACT

Houseflies are the best known and most widely distributed insects accounting for 90% of all flies in human habitation. A study was undertaken on Parasitic Fauna from the housefly Musca domestica (L) across the University of Agriculture Makurdi Community. A total of 1,309 houseflies were collected using fresh fish as bait and the knockdown method, from three different localities and were examined for Parasitic Faunas using normal saline concentration technique. The highest fly abundance recorded was 613 (46.81%) from the students village, while the least recorded was 216 (16.50%) houseflies from the staff quarters. Nine parasites were isolated from the external body surfaces of the flies with the following frequency of infestation in their external surfaces respectively; Ascari slumbricoides 15(23.44%),  Entamoeba histolytica 19 (29.69%), Taeniasolium 9(14.06), Taeniasaginata 7 (10.94), Schistosoma mansoni 5(7.81), Enterobius vermicularis 5(7.81),  Hymenolepis nana 5(7.81), Schistosoma haematobium 2(3.13) Trichuris trichiura 1(1.56%) and the frequencies from three sampling sites were (16.50%) for the Staff quarters, (36.67%)  for the Female hostel and (46.81%) for the Student’s village. Housefly was found to be a potential mechanical carrier of parasitic infections and significantly contribute to the spread of food borne parasitic diseases, since this study detected the presence of nine parasites in flies’ exoskeleton and therefore its role in disease transmission cannot be over emphasized.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background Information

The housefly Muscado mestica is a fly of the order Diptera, it is the most common of all domestic flies, accounting for about 91% of family Muscidae and indeed one of the most widely spread insects found all over the world (Jeffrey et al., 2000). It is considered a pest that can carry pathogens responsible for diseases (Scott et al., 2014). Houseflies Muscadomestica L. are ubiquitous (found everywhere) and transmit more than 100 human and animal diseases, including bacterial infections such as salmonellosis, anthrasophthalmia, shigellosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, cholera and infantile diarrhea (Jeffrey et al., 2000). It is considered one of the most important pests which cause health problems in the environment as it accompanies human during their daily activity everywhere, on work site or in rest places causing many disturbances to them (Howard, 2011).

Houseflies are of human and veterinary concern, because it acts as a mechanical vector for a range of pathogens (Peter and Chiodui, 1997). An almost invisible dot of feces in the environment may contain the eggs or larvae that can develop further and transmit to nearby humans (Graczyk et al., 2001).

It has been reported by regulatory agencies concerned with sanitation that and public health that housefly are associated with unsanitary condition and involved in dissemination of human enteropathogens that serve as causative agents of gastro-intestinal diseases to humans, based on strong attraction of filth and human food (Otronto and Tarsitano, 2003). The filthy breeding habit, feeding mechanism and indiscriminate travel between filth and food make houseflies as an efficient vector and transmitters of human enteric protozoan and helminth parasites such as cysts of Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba coli, Giardia intestinalis and oocyts of Toxoplasma gondii, Isospora spp and Egg or larvae of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichuria (Graczyk et al., 2001).

The transmission of these human protozoan and helminth parasites by houseflies is predominantly mechanical, which occurs through mechanical dislodgement from external body, fecal deposition and regurgitation (Graczyk et al., 2005). Since houseflies feed on contaminated substances such as human and animal excreta, sputum, excretion from wound, the flies can carry pathogens from their spongy mouth parts, body and leg hairs, which is directly transmitted to the next visited site e.g. human food (Manzon and Sanchoz, 1997).

Flies also transmit pathogens responsible for eye diseases such as trachoma and epidemic conjunctivitis and infect wounds or skin with diseases such as cutaneous diphtheria, mycoses, yaws and leprosy (Westley et al., 2014).

House flies are always found in association with humans and human activities (Timothy et al., 2014). They are also one of the most serious pests with animal production facilities worldwide (Timothy et al., 2014). Insecticide has been used extensively for controlling house flies for a century and this pest has shown a remarkable ability to rapidly evolve resistance (Timothy et al., 2014).

Despite the awareness of many about the dangers posed by houseflies, the inability to maintain a good sanitation leads to an increase in the population of houseflies, especially in warm tropical countries. In Makurdi, in general and Federal University of Agriculture in particular, poor sanitation is becoming a problem. Indiscriminate refuse dumping, little or no care of toilet facilities and drainage systems coupled with improper handling of food are daily on the increase. Hence, the aim of this study is to identify the Parasitic Fauna found on houseflies Muscadomestica across the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi Benue States’ Community. In order to assess the dominant type of transmissible infectious agents present in the community.

1.2     Scope of the Study

The Community of Federal University of Agriculture Markudi Benue state Nigeria has been chosen for this study because it is one of the communities with high population of house flies.

1.3     Significance of the Study

This study on the parasitic fauna from the house fly Musca domestica across the University of Agriculture community Benue state Nigeria will suggest possible control in preventive measures against house flies as vectors of parasitic fauna in the area of study.

1.4     Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study was to identify the Parasitic Fauna on Houseflies across the University Community. While specific objective included:

  1. To identify the Parasitic Fauna on the housefly across the University of Agriculture Makurdi Community.
  2. To determine the abundance of houseflies in the University Community
  3. To ascertain the potential risk factors associated with the identified houseflies in this Community.
  4. To determine the environmental factors that favour ;
    1. The abundance of houseflies in the University Community
    2. The breeding of houseflies in the University Community.

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