It has always been said that flies are vehicles for diseases. And this has been proven by science.
However, a new review of the microbiome (number of microorganisms present in a living being) of 116 flies from two species on three different continents indicated that they carry more than 800 different types of bacteria.
Of these bacterial species, most are not harmful to humans. But others are related to more than 100 diseases that include digestive ailments, respiratory infections or febrile symptoms.
These are evils that are not lethal or serious in most cases, but that can make you have a hard time or could pose a risk to people with a weakened immune system.
These are the conclusions of a study conducted by the State University of Pennsylvania in the United States. The research was done in conjunction with the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The scientists reviewed each part of the so-called “house fly” and “wild fly”, including its legs, wings and antennae. They also analyzed the DNA with molecular biology techniques and it was seen that both species have in common 50% of the microbiome.
“The legs and wings show the greatest diversity of microbes, which suggests that bacteria can use flies as if they were airplanes,” Stephan Schuster, one of the researchers, said in a news release.
“If the bacteria survived the trip (many could die along the way), they would grow and reproduce on a new surface, in fact, the study shows that in each ‘scale’ that the flies make, they leave a colony of microbes, which they serve as support for the growth of these microorganisms, “he added.
Donald Bryant, another of the participating scientists, stressed: “We believe that this may be a mechanism that has been underestimated by public health authorities.”
However, the caveat is that many of these bacterial infections are eliminated by themselves in the body. However, others could make us have a hard time.
Does this mean that the world would be better without flies? For researchers, the answer is a resounding no.
“Flies are excellent biological controls, and although they make us sick with some ills, they can also protect us from others,” Schuster concluded.