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Delivering a Virus that Gets Rid of House Flies

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found an effective method to infect house flies with a virus that stops the flies from reproducing.

House flies can transmit hundreds of animal and human pathogens like Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Shigella bacteria, which cause foodborne illnesses. Insecticides are used to help control flies, but the pests can develop resistance to chemicals.

Entomologist Christopher J. Geden, with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Fla., examined salivary gland hypertrophy virus (SGHV), a member of a newly discovered family of viruses called Hytrosaviridae. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

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