Stoffolano Researches Suspected Virus Vectors in Italy

Farm animal snout with flies.
House flies are a suspect vector of the orf virus in sheep and goats.

John Stoffolano, professor of entomology in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, spent May 24 to June 2 in Foggia, Italy, at the virology unit of medical and veterinary entomology in the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Puglia e della Basilicata.

During that period, the research group Stoffolano was part of visited two farms. They collected adult flies where there were outbreaks of the orf virus of sheep and goats.

The main focus of the research was to collect adult house flies, which are suspected vectors of the virus amongst members of a herd and examine them for the virus.

Stoffolano is a specialist on the behavior and physiology of the common house fly, Musca domestica and has a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) multistate research project on house fly involvement in food safety.

The project was supported by the Italian government and is entitled, “The Epidemiology of Parapoxvirus (orf virus): study on the role of Musca domestica in the spread of the virus.”

One of the highlights of the study was a visit to a goat farm where the very rare gargonitta goats had a recent outbreak of the virus.