Escherichia Coli Transfer to Food by Fruit Flies during Short Time Exposure

  •  Ahmet Buyukyavuz    
  •  Eric Benson    
  •  Jinbo Song    
  •  Brittany Ellis    
  •  Inyee Han    
  •  Paul Dawson    


Two separate experiments were conducted to determine the transfer of E. coli by fruit flies during short term exposure to apple slices and bologna. Short time exposure (1, 5 and 15 min) of flies to inoculated apple slices were tested in the first experiment to determine the transfer of E. coli to flies. No difference (P≤0.05) in the number of bacteria transferred to flies were found due to these exposure times. In the second experiment the transfer of E. coli from inoculated apple or bologna slices (5 min exposure) to un-inoculated slices (1, 5 and 15 min exposure) were tested. More bacteria were transferred to bologna at 1 and 5 min compared to apple while the number transferred did not differ at 15 min exposure. The percentage of E. coli transferred from inoculated food to flies was low (<0.5%) while the percentage transferred from flies to un-inoculated food was relatively high (>50%). This study found that flies can pick up and transfer bacteria to food in short exposure times. 

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