Blowflies Calliphora vicina and Lucilia sericata as passive vectors of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium, M. a. paratuberculosis and M. a. hominissuis Academic Article uri icon


  • Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Actinomycetales: Mycobacteriaceae) isolates of identical restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) type B-C1 were isolated from: intestinal mucosa of two cows showing clinical signs of paratuberculosis, a specimen of the blowfly Calliphora vicina Robineau-Desvoidy (Diptera: Calliphoridae) captured while perched on these cattle intestines in a waste container at the site of the slaughter, and the blowflies C. vicina and Lucilia caesar Linnaeus captured the next day at the same site when no infected cattle with paratuberculosis were slaughtered. Subsequently, second-stage larvae of the blowflies C. vicina and Lucilia sericata (Meigen) were experimentally infected by feeding them liver from hens with avian tuberculosis caused by M. a. avium (serotype 1, genotype IS901+ and IS1245+) and small cuts of pork meat contaminated with M. a. hominissuis (serotype 8, genotype IS901- and IS1245+). Mycobacterium a. avium of identical serotype, genotype and RFLP type F-C3 was isolated from C. vicina larvae on days 4 and 11 post infection (p.i.) and from L. sericata larvae on day 4 p.i. Identical RFLP type B-C1 of M. a. paratuberculosis was isolated from adult C. vicina fed with artificially contaminated saccharose solution on day 2 p. i. Investigation of M. a. paratuberculosis distribution inside the adult C. vicina showed that the majority of Colony Forming Units (CFU) were isolated from the abdomen and head, fewer from the thorax and wings and none from the legs. Larvae and adults may participate in spreading causal agents of mycobacterial infections and this fact should be considered during sanitation of infected herds and in slaughterhouses when materials from animals affected by mycobacterial infections are processed.


  • Fischer, OA
  • Matlova, L
  • Dvorska, L
  • Svastova, P
  • Bartl, J
  • Weston, RT
  • Pavlik, I

publication date

  • June 2004