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Flies may also spread disease among monkeys and apes

Flies carrying deadly pathogens form long-term associations with monkeys and apes following them through the rainforest

People the world over have a good sense that flies are filthy and that we do not want them landing on our food during our summer picnics. Research has justified that disgust, showing that flies associated with humans and their livestock spread a diversity of pathogens. In a collaboration with Roman Wittig of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Taï Chimpanzee Project, a research team led by Fabian Leendertz at the Robert Koch Institute in Germany has now shown that such fly associations also exist in highly mobile non-human primate groups as they move kilometers every day through the rainforest.

© Jan Gogarten, Taï Chimpanzee Project