Black Fly Genome Project

Black fly
Black fly
Image source:
Charles Brockhouse

Black fly larvae

Black fly larvae

About the Project

Black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) are the second most medically-important group of arthropod pest species affecting human health and are now the most important group of disease vectors and pest species lacking a representative genome project.

The family also occupies a critical taxonomic placement in the sub-order Nematocera, making it an important out-group for genomic studies in mosquitoes and other important hematophagous

Diptera are associated with leishmaniasis and viral encephalitis.

Simulium species are the sole vectors for the human filarial parasite Onchocerca volvulus, the causative agent of onchocercaisis, or river blindness. River blindness is a scourge of some of the poorest regions of the world, affecting 39 million people worldwide.

Historically, it has been the second most important infectious cause of blindness (after trachoma) and the second most important disease in terms of overall socio-economic impact, eclipsed only by polio. *

* Excerpted from: Simulium (Black Fly Disease Vectors) Genomics Project

Genomic Resources

Additional Resources

Learn more about river blindness