2017 Volume 11 Issue 3 Pages 156-160
Insects produce antimicrobial molecules that contribute to their innate immune responses to eliminate invading microorganisms. To explore the potential utility of these antimicrobial molecules, we focused on larvae of the house fly Musca domestica, which is an efficient processor of organic waste and a good resource of protein and oil for animal feeding. The induction of hemagglutinating activity, which is usually accompanied by activation of innate immune responses in fly larvae, was observed in the hemolymph following needle injury. Hemolymph collected from injured larvae demonstrated potent antimicrobial activities against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity was significantly retained in hemolymph after heat-treatments, suggesting that pasteurization of animal feed prepared from fly larvae would be a useful sterilization method. These observations indicate that injured Musca domestica larvae are a source of antimicrobial agents, and highlight the utility of preparing animal feed from these larvae.