Role and Mitigation of Two Vectors of Turkey Coronavirus, Musca domestica L. and Alphitobius diaperinus Panzer.

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Title: Role and Mitigation of Two Vectors of Turkey Coronavirus, Musca domestica L. and Alphitobius diaperinus Panzer.
Author: Calibeo-Hayes, Dawn
Advisors: D. Wes Watson, Committee Chair
Charles Apperson, Committee Member
Jesse Grimes, Committee Member
Abstract: The darkling beetle, Alphitobius diaperinus, is a cosmopolitan pest of stored products and commercial poultry facilities. Considered the most important pest in North Carolina poultry production, darkling beetles damage poultry house insulation, affect bird performance when consumed by poultry and have been implicated in the transmission of over thirty avian diseases including turkey coronavirus (TCV). Common litter management practices include the removal of used poultry litter for use as organic fertilizer. Land applied litter may serve as a source of re-infestation or dispersal of darkling beetles to nearby farms or residential areas. This study evaluated the impact of mechanical incorporation of used poultry litter into field soil on darkling beetle emigration from land applied litter. Mechanical incorporation of poultry litter into field soil was shown to reduce beetle emergence from land applied litter. Mechanical incorporation was effective in both clay and sandy soil types. Application of litter in cold weather had a negative impact on beetle survival. Another common premise pest in poultry facilities is the house fly, Musca domestica. Turkey coronavirus was isolated from house fly crops up to nine hours after flies imbibed virus infected media. TCV was not isolated from house fly mid- and hindgut tissues. Turkey poults tested positive by indirect immunofluorescent assay and serology after exposure for 24 hours to TCV infected house flies, demonstrating the potential of the house fly to act as a mechanical vector of TCV. The house fly and the darkling beetle are both inhabitants of poultry facilities and demonstrate the potential to act as mechanical vectors of TCV. Incidences of the darkling beetles dispersing by flight, although possible, are rare while the house fly is capable of dispersing several kilometers. The role of the darkling beetle in transmission of TCV remains a concern, however, the scope of the transmission appears limited to the poultry facility. The house fly is likely an important vector of TCV between facilities.
Date: 2002-06-21
Degree: MS
Discipline: Entomology

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