AMR and flies

The global burden of AMR is increasing, yet comprehensive data on AMR transmission are still lacking, particularly from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

While the misuse of antibiotics in human medicine and agriculture is a key contributor to the global rise and spread of AMR, many other factors are related to AMR dissemination. These include the role played by arthropods (including spiders, flies and cockroaches) on the transmission of drug-resistant bacteria.

Whilst flies, particularly filth flies, are well known to carry bacteria, their role in disseminating AMR is still relatively unclear. Previous evidence shows that different arthropods (including ants, spiders, flies, and cockroaches) play a role in the transmission of drug-resistant infections in a public hospital in Peshawar, northern Pakistan. However, there is little data on a global scale examining then role of arthropods in increasing AMR and dissemination.


Like AMR, climate change is a serious threat to human health, and previous studies have suggested that rising temperatures may lead to increased infection rates. Temperature increases are also predicted to impact arthropods, with the current population of flies projected to increase and accentuate disease transmission. 

Given the potential role of flies as vectors spreading AMR, it is important to understand how climate change may affect their distribution around the globe and their ability to carry and disseminate resistant bacteria.

We are now expanding on these studies, including additional clinical sites to create a global profile of AMR in arthropods and investigating how AMR carriage is influenced by climate change. The aims of this study, called Arthropods as Vectors of Infection and AMR (AVIAR), are to investigate the role of flies and arthropods as vectors of AMR transmission and to monitor how this is impacted by climate change.

Looking for collaborators

AVIAR will generate a “global AMR profile of flies” in the hospital setting by collecting flies from up to 80 countries (see map). 

For this, we are currently enlisting collaborators from hospitals around the world. We are particularly looking for collaborators working in hospitals in any of the countries shown in red on the map above. 

The work will involve the collection of flies using sticky fly traps placed in selected wards in hospitals and hospital corridors within the study sites, and the collection of antibiotic usage data within the ward. We will send you a fly collection pack containing relevant materials, cover all shipping costs, and the collected flies will be shipped back to Oxford for analysis.

This project involves low time commitment – we estimate that it would require around one hour per day for approximately one to two weeks to complete the collection of flies. Interested collaborators should have access to a smartphone that can capture the GPS location of the fly traps within the wards and should have access to a fridge to store the fly samples.

We intend to include collaborators in any published materials arising from this project, and to share relevant data with collaborating sites.

Get in touch

If you are interested in participating, please email us.