Populations of Escherichia coli obtained by feeding larval house flies, Musca domestica L. and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), persisted through the pupal stage. The abundance of E. coli in house fly pupae increased initially then declined before adult emergence. Abundance of E. coli in stable fly pupae increased through pupal development and remained high. Infected stable fly pupal cases typically contained more E. coli than house fly pupal cases. A greater proportion of emerging adult house flies were infected with E. coli compared with stable flies; however, the abundance of E. coli on infected flies was similar between species. Adult flies contained 0.04–0.19% of the E. coli in the pupal cases. The proportion of infected house fly adults and the amount of E. coli on the infected flies were related to the levels of E. coli in the pupal cases; however, these relationships did not occur with the stable fly. Results suggest that retention of E. coli from larval to adult house flies could play a role in the transmission and spread of E. coli, whereas stable fly adults probably play a minor role in E. coli spread. However, pupae of both species have potential to act as reservoirs for E. coli.
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