Lucilia Illustris - Medical Importance - Vector of Disease Causing Agents

Vector of Disease Causing Agents

Lucilia illustris larvae have been shown to be a mechanical vector of Clostridium botulinum at levels high enough to cause sickness and even death in pheasants. L. illustris can cause outbreaks of C. botulinum in avian production practices by spreading the bacteria from previously infected carrion to live pheasants. Dispersal from the infected carrion by third instar larvae to pupate can spread the bacteria into other pens of animals. As little as one gram of infected maggot mass has been shown to contain 5.2 times pheasant LD50 which is enough toxin to kill several pheasant. More than 5000 larvae have been known to colonize a single carcass which is theoretically enough maggots to completely infect a moderately sized game pheasant practice with C. botulinum.

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