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- Mechanical Transmission of Human Protozoan Parasites by Insects

Mechanical Transmission of Human Protozoan Parasites by Insects

Thaddeus K. Graczyk, * Ronald Knight, and Leena Tamang

Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

The filthy breeding habits, feeding mechanisms, and indiscriminate travel between filth and food make some groups of synanthropic insects such as nonbiting flies and cockroaches efficient vectors of human enteric protozoan parasites. Twenty-one species of filth flies have been listed by regulatory agencies concerned with sanitation and public health as causative agents of gastrointestinal diseases based on synanthropy, endophily, communicative behavior, and strong attraction to filth and human food. Outbreaks and cases of food-borne diarrheal diseases in urban and rural areas are closely related to the seasonal increase in abundance of filth flies, and enforced fly control is closely related to reductions in the occurrence of such diseases. Mechanical transmission of human parasites by nonbiting flies and epidemiological involvement of other synanthropic insects in human food-borne diseases have not received adequate scientific attention.

Source: Clinical Microbiology Reviews, January 2005, p. 128-132, Vol. 18, No. 1

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