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Bacteria on house fly tongue, SEM

Bacteria on house fly tongue, SEM

C037/8049

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Credit

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bacteria on house fly tongue, scanning electron micrograph (SEM). House flies are recognized as carriers of easily communicable diseases. Flies collect pathogens on their legs and mouths when females lay eggs on decomposing organic matter such as feces, garbage and animal corpses, these pathogens can then be transfered to food or touched surfaces. Mature house flies also use saliva to liquefy solid food before feeding on it. During this process, they transfer the pathogens first collected by landing on offal. Diseases carried by house flies include typhoid, cholera and dysentery. Other diseases carried by house flies include salmonella, anthrax and tuberculosis. House flies have also been known to transmit the eggs of parasitic worms. Magnification: x800 when printed at 10cm wide.

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