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Gainesville researcher preventing housefly reproduction with a virus

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A virus among houseflies may have a practical use.

The salivary gland hypertrophy virus prevents female flies from producing eggs and makes male flies less appealing to females, according to Chris Geden, research entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Gainesville.

In a few years, Geden hopes to develop a spray that uses the virus to control the housefly population. Houseflies are a concern to public health due to their role in carrying pathogenic microorganisms. The virus itself cannot infect humans or animals.

Rachel Jones wrote this story online.

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Photo courtesy Daniel M. Portik

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