The effect of Musca domestica salivary gland hypertrophy virus (MdSGHV) on selected fitness parameters of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), was examined in the laboratory. Virusinjected stable flies of both genders suffered substantially higher mortality than control flies. By day 9, female mortality was 59.3 ± 10.1% in the virus group compared with 23.7 ± 3.7% in the controls; mortality in virus-injected males was 78.1 ± 3.1% compared with 33.3 ± 9.3% for controls. Fecundity of control flies on days 6–9 was 49–54 eggs deposited per live female per day (total, 8,996 eggs deposited), whereas virus-injected flies produced four to five eggs per female on days 6–7 and less then one egg per female per day thereafter (total, 251 eggs). Fecal spot deposition by virus-injected flies was comparable to controls initially but decreased to ≈50% of control levels by day 4 after injection; infected flies produced only 26% as many fecal spots as healthy flies on days 6 and 7. None of the virus-injected stable flies developed symptoms of salivary gland hypertrophy. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated virus replication in injected stable flies, with increasing titers of virus genome copies from one to four days after injection. MdSGHV in stable flies displayed tissue tropism similar to that observed in house fly hosts, with higher viral copy numbers in fat body and salivary glands compared with ovaries. Virus titers were ≈2 orders of magnitude higher in house fly than in stable fly hosts, and this difference was probably due to the absence of salivary gland hypertrophy in the latter species.
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Vol. 48 • No. 6