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What is the Role of Large Biting Flies in Transmitting Viruses in Pigs?

03 September 2014

UK - Researchers at Pirbright are planning to address the gap in our knowledge by investigating the abundance, diversity and bite-rate of large flies on pig farms.

What is the role of large biting flies, such as horseflies and stable flies, in transmitting viruses in pigs?

The question is highly relevant at present but surprisingly, you might think, we don't know the answer even though such flies are abundant on most farms.

NPA producer members are asked to help by allowing traps to be set up on their pig units. These would be placed to cause minimal or zero disruption to the normal running of the farm.

"By participating in this study, you would be helping us understand the direct impact of these flies and their possible importance as vectors of disease," say Anthony Wilson and Jo Stoner, who are running the project.

The traps will be used to determine what large biting fly species are on each participating farm, after which observational studies will be carried out to count the number of flies landing on the pigs during specified periods.

An advantage to participants in the study is that on some of the farms researchers will look at strategies for reducing the large-fly population, such as insecticide treatment.

The field study period will be from late April to October. Are you willing to help? If so please email Anthony Wilson or phone 01483 231204.

ThePigSite News Desk

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