“How can geese and flies work together to fight infections?” Well, the answer is actually simple – each can give us answers to important questions regarding which bacteria is present in a small community of geese and fly friends.

Think about it – more than ever before, humans are living in close proximity to wildlife. This is so important that the fields of Public Health, Conservation Medicine and Environmental Health came together to form the ‘One Health’ concept, which studies interactions between the environment such as the physical space occupied by wildlife and sometimes pets, and also how that space contributes to the health of all those that occupy that space, which includes humans!

One way of studying how those interactions occur is to look at the microbiome of wildlife living in natural city parks. Specifically, the gut microbiome that consists of the thousands of bacteria that are part of the natural digestive system of most animals. Science has shown that the gut microbiome is so important that it actually communicates with the immune system and can help defend against infections. This is rather different from the typical reputation of bacteria – that all bacteria are bad bugs!

In fact, when we have a healthy and strong population of ‘good’ bacteria in our gut, there isn’t much more space for ‘bad’ bacteria to invade and take over.

However, some of the bad bacteria can gain traction and develop resistance to antibiotics, and worse, that resistance can be passed to other bacteria in the gut of other animals. So, in theory, studying whether there are infectious bad bacteria or antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a fly, can actually tell us if there are reasons to be concerned about wildlife and humans.


How Flies & Geese May Help the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

While collecting samples from humans or pets can be quite simple, the same isn’t true for other species, like wild free-range baboons. In fact, flies have been used as an indirect way to collect and extract baboon microbiome to search for specific infectious bacteria present in the population of baboons, and researchers actually found that the flies can provide a good sentinel system to detect an infectious agent.

In this case of studying geese, scientists from Western University in collaboration with MiDog, LLC. performed few collections in a small scale just to determine if it was feasible to use flies to monitor the microbiome of geese that inhabit a local city park. Flies are used because they are easy to collect and can be very convenient surveillance agents for bacteria that cause diseases or that show antibiotic resistance.

With that goal in mind, scientists packed up some sample collection materials and with authorization from a City Manager in hand, headed out to a public park in the Los Angeles area. They caught some flies and also collected some geese excrements to quickly analyze the bacteria present in flies and in geese in the lab.

First, researchers compared the microbiome of all nine collected geese droppings and realized that they were very similar. Since this was a small pilot study and it only analyzed a small population of geese that flocks together in a relatively small area, these findings were not surprising.

Next, they observed that there are over 350 species of bacteria in geese, whereas only 150 or fewer species in flies. However, in geese, the bacteria present comes from the same taxon, making them sort of ‘cousins.’ In flies, however, the species present are from taxon that are not related to each other.

Now, what was really interesting to observe in the results, is that even though only a small number of samples were collected for flies and geese, the MiDog microbial testing platform was able to detect that one pair of goose + fly had the same antimicrobial resistance profile for a bacteria called Enterococcus cecorum. This particular species of bacteria has been previously linked to cases of sepsis in humans and also has been determined as a threat to domestic animals such as chicken and others.

Similarly, another interesting find was that one fly showed the presence of a bacteria species closely related to C. burnetti which is known to be linked to Q Fever – commonly reported in California livestock.

Studies like this one, even when done in small scale, are very important to determine the interactions between the microbiome of species living in close proximity to one another. Besides the obvious reasons for public health concerns, keeping healthy and happy wildlife in our natural parks ultimately improves the quality of life for all those that visit the parks, walk their pets, or enjoy a bit of nature in the heart of a city.

Categories: Antibiotic Resistance, Birds/Parrots, Gut Microbiome, Insects

animal diagnostics

Validated by Veterinarians

“Clients expect their veterinarians to stay up to date on all matters that affect the health and well being of their non-human family members. The current technique that we have used to determine the presence and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms causing disease in our pets is over a century old.

With the emergence of dangerous antibacterial resistance, it is critical that veterinarians are able to offer laser focused diagnostics and treatment. MiDog enables us to offer care that exceeds the typical standard of care.”

Bernadine Cruz, DVM, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital Laguna Woods, CA

“I love the absolute abundance and comparing the fungal with bacterial infection. I do not worry as much about getting a false negative urinary infection reading as I do with traditional urine cultures. Several times the same urine would culture negative but MiDOG would detect pathogens.”

Michael Morgan, DVMQuail Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“The MiDOG All-in-One Test is amazing, I would use it instead of culture and sensitivity.  Such rapid and detailed results, I will reach for MiDOG before culture next time!

Thank you very much MiDOG, for sharing the opportunity to try your technology.”

Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, President of Forensic Veterinary Investigations, LLC – Boston, MA

The MiDOG All-in-One Microbial Test is our new gold standard of pathogen identification. The results are so accurate and valuable – especially with assessing both bacterial and fungal infections with the same sample.

Thank you MiDOG!”

Kathy Wentworth, DVM, Diplomate ABVP Canine and Feline Practice – PetPoint Medical Center, Irvine, CA

“The MiDOG staff was extremely helpful and supportive.”

Cathy Curtis, DVM – London, UK

“I have had great results using the MiDOG® Test. Compared to traditional culture tests, I am better able to target the treatment for dogs because the MiDOG® Test is so sensitive that it identifies all pathogens including bacteria and fungi, as well as antibiotic sensitivity.

The cost and turnaround time are about the same as a culture test, but I get much more data. The test has great performance and I believe the NGS technology will be a game changer for veterinarians treating dogs with lesions or other infections.”

Michael Kavanagh, DVM, Practice owner – Saddleback Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“It’s helpful to have an NGS spectrum because it gives you a broader insight of what’s happening and what might be going on.”

Richard Harvey BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS – European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology – Head of Dermatology, Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service – Solihull, England UK

“I have been using MiDog for over 4 years now and exclusively as my test of choice for all cultures for 3 years.  It is so great to submit a culture and feel confident there will be a result when it comes back, especially for urine cultures.  The reports were intimidating at first because they contain so much information.  After the first few, I am now quickly able to glance over it and pick out the highlights.  I can then come back later and pour over all the details.  I have been extremely pleased with my patients’ results using the test as well.  I don’t envision ever going back to traditional culture and susceptibilities again.”

Brian M. Urmson, DVM, Columbiana Veterinary Associates

“As an exotic veterinarian, there are numerous tests we have to consider to check specific bacterial and fungal organisms based on the species. MiDOG eliminates the need for many of these separate samples and provides definitive results quickly to help us treat our patients more efficiently and effectively. The lab is wonderful to work with and has never rejected our samples- they even processed a lizard toe we amputated and determined the cause of skin infection.”

Dr. Melissa Giese, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

“MiDOG’s diagnostic approach offers the unique ability to identify pathogens that evade traditional culture and sensitivity testing. I have found that adding a molecular based testing approach in the form of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) from MiDOG to my routine diagnostic cultures can be extremely helpful in the identification and diagnosis of uncommon pathogens in veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Wayne Rosenkrantz, Animal Dermatology Clinic – Tustin

“She [Dr. Krumbeck] really did a great job of making complicated concepts accessible and demonstrating the value of your services. I’m really looking forward to working with MiDOG on my research project!”

Dr. Yaicha Peters, Animal Dermatology Clinic – San Diego

“As a proud collaborator with MiDOG, I deeply appreciate their dedication to fostering partnerships between industry and veterinary experts. Their commitment to enhancing diagnostic quality for veterinarians is commendable. In my experience, their support has been invaluable, earning them a ‘Double A+, Triple Star’ rating. Their assistance has been faultless, contributing significantly to the success of my projects and studies. I eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration.”

Dr. Richard Harvey, BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS; European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

“We’re seeing that, if we prescribe too many antibiotics or they’re taken too frequently, animals are developing inappropriate or pathogenic strains of bacteria. We’re also seeing that our antibiotics are just not working against them anymore… It’s a good example of why we need better diagnostic testing, like MiDOG, so that we’re selecting the correct antibiotic every time our patients have an infection.”

Dr. Alissa Rexo, DVM, CVA, DACVD, Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Dermatology

“The NGS technique as offered by MiDOG is wonderful because pathogens like Melissococcus plutonius, for example, are difficult to grow and keep alive in the laboratory. A standard laboratory cannot truly examine or even properly diagnose this pathogen in bee hives at this time. But with NGS, we can reliably diagnose it.”

Dr. Joerg Mayer, Entomologist and Microbiologist at the University of Georgia

“For me, as a clinician and as a researcher, I see the immense value in the product [the All-in-One Test]. I have had great success using MiDOG clinically, including identifying Mycoplasma in a 24 year old pigeon, a Nannizziopsis spp in a ball python from a large pet distributor, Mycoplasma and Fusobacterium necrophorum co-infection in a peacock, and to identify an abnormal gut GI in a technician’s dog that tested negative for everything else (but we were able to establish what was abnormal, and work toward fixing it).”

Dr. Jeremy Rayl – Veterinarian, Block House Creek Animal Hospital, Cedar Park, Texas