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This systematic review considers the relationship between arthropods commonly found in and around livestock premises and zoonotic bacteria. The principal focus is upon insects and arachnids on poultry units, where houses, litter and manure provide good conditions for the growth, multiplication and protection of flies, beetles and mites, and where zoonotic pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are prevalent. Other members of the Enterobacteriaceae and the taxa Clostridium, Helicobacter, Erysipelas and Chlamydiaceae are also discussed. Salmonella is widely distributed in the flies of affected livestock units and is detectable to a lesser degree in beetles and mites. Persistent carriage appears to be common and there is some field and experimental evidence to support arthropod-mediated transmission between poultry flocks, particularly carry-over from one flock to the next. Campylobacter may readily be isolated from arthropods in contact with affected poultry flocks, although carriage is short-lived. There appears to be a role for flies, at least, in the breaching of biosecurity around Campylobacter-negative flocks. The carriage of other zoonotic bacteria by arthropods has been documented, but the duration and significance of such associations remain uncertain in the context of livestock production.

Original publication




Journal article


Zoonoses Public Health

Publication Date





299 - 314


Animals, Coleoptera, Diptera, Humans, Mites, Salmonella, Zoonoses