Pacora, Panama
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Chaudhury M.F.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Zhu J.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Sagel A.,Screwworm Research Unit | Chen H.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Skoda S.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2014

Gravid screwworm flies, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel), are attracted to the volatiles from waste larval rearing media to deposit eggs. Studies were conducted to identify volatile chemicals from the waste larval media and determine their effectiveness to attract gravid flies to oviposit. Volatiles were collected using solid-phase microextraction method, and five active chemicals, namely, dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, phenol, p-cresol, and indole, were identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In electroantennography studies, antennae of gravid screwworm flies, Cochliomyia macellaria (F.), responded positively to each of the identified compounds. A synthetic blend of these five compounds in the ratio of 335:200:57:1:12 was prepared and tested for its effectiveness to attract both C. hominivorax and C. macellaria using laboratory bioassay methods. Significantly more gravid C. macellaria were attracted to and landed on substrates treated with 10-fold diluted blends compared with those landed on substrates treated with ethanol only (as control). Only a few young females and young and old males were attracted to the substrates treated with the synthetic blend. The C. hominivorax females laid significantly more eggs on substrates treated with waste media, 10-fold diluted blend, and 100-fold diluted blend than on substrates with undiluted blend or ethanol. Similarly, C. macellaria deposited significantly more eggs on substrates treated with waste media, 10-fold diluted blend, and 100-fold diluted blend compared with substrates with undiluted blend or ethanol. C. macellaria females deposited significantly less amount of eggs than did C. hominivorax females. These results indicate that the synthetic blend of five compounds identified may serve as an oviposition attractant for C. hominivorax as well as for C. macellaria. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.


Chaudhury M.F.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Chen H.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Sagel A.,Screwworm Research Unit | Skoda S.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2015

Spray-dried whole bovine blood, dry poultry egg, and a dry milk substitute are the constituents of the artificial diet currently used for mass rearing screwworm larvae, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Due to high cost and uncertainty of the commercial supply of spray-dried blood, research was conducted to identify alternative, locally available, inexpensive, dietary ingredients which could reduce cost of rearing and eliminate concerns of short supply. Experimental diets were prepared without blood component and with various ratios of bovine blood or blood cell product and defatted soy flour. Results indicate that spray-dried bovine blood can be replaced by a readily available and less expensive blood cell product. When the quantity of whole dried blood or blood cell component was reduced or removed completely from the diet, the larvae did not feed adequately, resulting in high mortality. Those larvae that survived produced pupae that were of unacceptable quality. When the milk product was replaced by soy flour, pupae were slightly smaller than those reared using the current diet; however, replacement of egg product with soy flour produced even smaller pupae. Longevity of adult flies that emerged from these small pupae was short and the females deposited few eggs. These results indicate that soy flour cannot replace the blood component from the diet, but can replace the milk product successfully. It is likely that some factor or a combination of factors in the blood act as feeding stimulants, without which larvae are unable to feed normally, resulting in high larval mortality. © 2015 The Authors.


Concha C.,North Carolina State University | Concha C.,Panama United States Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of Screwworm COPEG | Concha C.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | Palavesam A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 17 more authors.
BMC Biology | Year: 2016

Background: The New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, is a devastating pest of livestock endemic to subtropical and tropical regions of the Western hemisphere. The larvae of this species feed on the tissue of living animals, including man, and can cause death if untreated. Over 60 years ago, the sterile insect technique (SIT) was developed with the aim of eradicating this pest, initially from Florida but subsequently from all of North and Central America. From the outset it was appreciated that SIT would be more efficient if only sterile males were released in the field, but this was not possible until now. Results: Here, we report on the development and evaluation of the first sexing strains of C. hominivorax that produce only males when raised on diet without tetracycline. Transgenic lines have been developed that possess a tetracycline repressible female-lethal genetic system. Ten of these lines show high female lethality at the late larval/pupal stages and three of them present dominant female lethality. Most of the lines were comparable to the wild type parental strain in several fitness parameters that are relevant to mass rearing in a production facility. Further, three lines performed well in male mating success and male competition assays, suggesting they would be sexually competitive in the field. Consequently, one transgenic line has been selected by the New World Screwworm Program for evaluation under mass rearing conditions. Conclusions: We conclude that the promising characteristics of the selected sexing strains may contribute to reduce production costs for the existing eradication program and provide more efficient population suppression, which should make a genetic control program more economical in regions were C. hominivorax remains endemic. © 2016 Concha et al.


Chaudhury M.F.,Screwworm Research Unit | Skoda S.R.,Screwworm Research Unit | Sagel A.,Screwworm Research Unit | Welch J.B.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2010

Bovine blood inoculated with bacteria isolated from screwworm [Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) ]-infested animal wounds was tested as an attractant for oviposition for gravid screwworms. Eight species of gram-negative coliform (Enterobacteriaceae) bacteria mixed with bovine blood singly or all species combined and incubated for various times produced volatiles that attracted gravid flies in a cage bioassay in varying numbers. In 15-min duration tests, volatiles from five species of bacteria (Klebsiella oxytoca, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, Providencia rettgeri, and Providencia stuartii) attracted more females than volatiles of the three species (Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter sakazakii, and Serratia liquefaciens). In 1-h duration oviposition tests, volatiles from the substrate using the same five species of bacteria attracted more females to oviposit than the other three species. Volatiles from 24-h incubation period elicited least attraction and oviposition whereas volatiles from the 48- and 72-h incubation period resulted in significantly more attraction and oviposition. Attraction and oviposition decreased significantly when the substrates were incubated for 96 h. Volatiles from substrate with all species of bacteria combined attracted a significantly higher percentage of flies to land and oviposit than those from substrates prepared with single species. It is possible that multiple active chemicals present in volatiles of the all-species substrate may act as synergists resulting in greater response than those observed with volatiles from single-species substrate. Before oviposition flies took a bloodmeal from the oviposition substrate. It is possible that the oviposition is moderated by two different factors in screwwormfirst, by using a chemical cue to land on a potential oviposition site and second, by using a bloodmeal to stimulate oviposition. © 2010 Entomological Society of America.


PubMed | Screwworm Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agro Ecosystem Management Research Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical entomology | Year: 2015

The sheep blowfly, Lucilia sericata Meigen (Diptera: Calliphoridae), causes sheep myiasis in various parts of the world. Female flies are attracted to sheep following various olfactory cues emanating from the sheeps body, and oviposit on suitable substrates on sheep ultimately causing myiasis. Earlier workers attempted to reduce fly population in the field, with some success, using traps baited with various attractants. This research was conducted to determine if L. sericata would respond to a recently developed synthetic attractant that has attracted gravid screwworms, Cochliomyia hominivorax Coquerel, and stimulated them to oviposit. Results of the laboratory bioassays demonstrated that gravid females L. sericata were attracted to substrates treated with the synthetic screwworm attractant composed of five compounds--dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, phenol, p-cresol, and indole. Tests with various combinations of these compounds suggest that the sulfur compounds and indole are the most important compounds to elicit attraction and stimulate oviposition, while phenol and p-cresol may have minor roles. Semiochemical baits based on these compounds may be useful in the field to trap gravid L. sericata.


PubMed | Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Screwworm Research Unit, Panama United States Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of Screwworm COPEG, U.S. Department of Agriculture and North Carolina State University
Type: | Journal: BMC biology | Year: 2016

The New World screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, is a devastating pest of livestock endemic to subtropical and tropical regions of the Western hemisphere. The larvae of this species feed on the tissue of living animals, including man, and can cause death if untreated. Over 60years ago, the sterile insect technique (SIT) was developed with the aim of eradicating this pest, initially from Florida but subsequently from all of North and Central America. From the outset it was appreciated that SIT would be more efficient if only sterile males were released in the field, but this was not possible until now.Here, we report on the development and evaluation of the first sexing strains of C. hominivorax that produce only males when raised on diet without tetracycline. Transgenic lines have been developed that possess a tetracycline repressible female-lethal genetic system. Ten of these lines show high female lethality at the late larval/pupal stages and three of them present dominant female lethality. Most of the lines were comparable to the wild type parental strain in several fitness parameters that are relevant to mass rearing in a production facility. Further, three lines performed well in male mating success and male competition assays, suggesting they would be sexually competitive in the field. Consequently, one transgenic line has been selected by the New World Screwworm Program for evaluation under mass rearing conditions.We conclude that the promising characteristics of the selected sexing strains may contribute to reduce production costs for the existing eradication program and provide more efficient population suppression, which should make a genetic control program more economical in regions were C. hominivorax remains endemic.


PubMed | Screwworm Research Unit and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of economic entomology | Year: 2015

Spray-dried whole bovine blood, dry poultry egg, and a dry milk substitute are the constituents of the artificial diet currently used for mass rearing screwworm larvae, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Due to high cost and uncertainty of the commercial supply of spray-dried blood, research was conducted to identify alternative, locally available, inexpensive, dietary ingredients which could reduce cost of rearing and eliminate concerns of short supply. Experimental diets were prepared without blood component and with various ratios of bovine blood or blood cell product and defatted soy flour. Results indicate that spray-dried bovine blood can be replaced by a readily available and less expensive blood cell product. When the quantity of whole dried blood or blood cell component was reduced or removed completely from the diet, the larvae did not feed adequately, resulting in high mortality. Those larvae that survived produced pupae that were of unacceptable quality. When the milk product was replaced by soy flour, pupae were slightly smaller than those reared using the current diet; however, replacement of egg product with soy flour produced even smaller pupae. Longevity of adult flies that emerged from these small pupae was short and the females deposited few eggs. These results indicate that soy flour cannot replace the blood component from the diet, but can replace the milk product successfully. It is likely that some factor or a combination of factors in the blood act as feeding stimulants, without which larvae are unable to feed normally, resulting in high larval mortality.

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