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The housefly (Musca domestica) as a possible vector for Helicobacter pylori at agricultural sites

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Helicobacter pylori is a common human pathogen which causes chronic gastritis and peptic ulcers. Association of this pathogen with the housefly (Musca domestica) was evaluated via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A total of 2229 wild houseflies from several agricultural sites were tested using primers flanking a 411 base pair region of the H. pylori Urease-A gene. These primers, which were specific for H. pylori, amplified in 6.85% of 3-fly or 5-fly pools. Amplification products were confirmed by Southern hybridization with a probe from the DNA of H. pylori. Digestion pattern analysis of the PCR products using the endonucleases HinfI and AluI indicated identity between pools and with that of H. pylori human isolates. The percentage of H. pylori (+) flies from a swine center was significantly higher than that of flies from a poultry center and that of flies from a dairy center. Flies artificially contaminated with a fresh H. pylori culture remained positive for the pathogen over their lifetime in captivity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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