Biology, treatment, and control of flea and tick infestations.

Department of Pathobiology, 166 Greene Hall, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849-5519, USA.
Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice (Impact Factor: 1.04). 11/2009; 39(6):1173-200, viii. DOI: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2009.07.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Flea and tick infestations are common and elimination can be expensive and time consuming. Many advances in control of fleas can be directly linked to improved knowledge of the intricacies of flea host associations, reproduction, and survival in the premises. Understanding tick biology and ecology is far more difficult than with fleas, because North America can have up to 9 different tick species infesting cats and dogs compared to 1 primary flea species. Effective tick control is more difficult to achieve than effective flea control, because of the abundance of potential alternative hosts in the tick life cycle. Many effective host-targeted tick control agents exist, several of which also possess activity against adult or immature fleas and other parasites.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Five studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of a new combination of fipronil and permethrin on cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis, when applied to dogs, including dogs that underwent water exposure or shampooing.Methods In each study, 16 dogs were allocated to two groups. Each dog was infested with 100 unfed adult fleas on Days ¿1, 7, 14, 21 and 28. Eight dogs were treated with a new topical spot-on formulation containing 6.76%w/v fipronil¿+¿50.48% w/v permethrinon Day 0; and eight dogs served as untreated controls. Twenty-four or 48 h after treatment or subsequent infestation, each dog was combed to remove and count live fleas. In addition, the dogs were subjected to different levels of water or shampoo exposure. In study 1, dogs were not subjected to any water exposure or shampooing; in study 2, dogs were water immersed twice during the month on Days 10 and 24; in study 3, dogs were water immersed three times on Days 10, 17 and 24; and in studies 4 and 5, dogs were shampooed once on Day 17.ResultsAll groups of dogs administered a single topical treatment with a combination of fipronil and permethrin had significantly (p¿<¿0.005) lower flea counts than untreated controls 24 h and 48 h post-treatment or post-infestation, regardless of whether they underwent water exposure/shampooing or not. The reductions in C. felis counts were between 98.4% and 100% at all time points in all studies.Conclusions The new topical spot-on formulation of fipronil and permethrin maintains a high level of protection of dogs against C. felis flea infestations even when the dogs are exposed to environmental factors that are believed to adversely affect efficacy, such as water exposure or shampooing.
    Parasites & Vectors 01/2015; 8(1):62. DOI:10.1186/s13071-015-0687-7 · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Fluralaner (Bravecto¿) is a novel systemic insecticide and acaricide that provides long persistent antiparasitic activity following a single administration at the minimum dose of 25 mg/kg body weight.Methods Three negative controlled, randomized studies were conducted in dogs to evaluate the start to kill (1 study) and the speed of flea kill (2 studies) of fluralaner. All dogs were infested prior to treatment with unfed adult C. felis fleas. Dogs in the treated groups were administered once orally with fluralaner at a minimum dose of 25 mg/kg body weight, while dogs in the control groups were not treated. Separate control and treatment groups were paired at each time point of flea assessment. Flea counts were performed by combing dogs at either 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hours after fluralaner treatment to measure the start to kill. To evaluate the speed of flea kill over 12 weeks, flea counts were performed by combing dogs at either 4, 8, 12, or 24 hours after fluralaner treatment and then at 4, 8, 12, or 24 hours after each flea re-infestations performed at 4, 8, and 12 weeks following treatment.ResultsIn the start to kill study, the fluralaner activity against fleas started already at 1 hour post-treatment (8% numerical efficacy). At 2 and 4 hours post-treatment, the flea reduction was significant with 36.7% and 88% efficacy, respectively.In the speed of kill studies, the efficacy against fleas after fluralaner treatment was 80.5% at 4 hours and remained¿¿¿99.4% at 8, 12 and 24 hours. After flea re-infestations in weeks 4, 8 and 12, the efficacy at 4 hours was 96.8, 91.4, and 33.5%, respectively. Efficacy at 8, 12 and 24 hours after flea re-infestations was 98.0-100% for the 12 weeks of the study. Except for 4 hours after the 12-week flea re-infestation, flea reduction was significant for all time points after flea re-infestation.Conclusions Single oral fluralaner administration rapidly eliminates existing flea infestations and provides excellent protection against fleas over 12 weeks following treatment.
    Parasites & Vectors 12/2014; 7(1):567. DOI:10.1186/PREACCEPT-1563099569137345 · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Flea infestation is diagnosed after the detection of either adult parasites or flea faeces in the fur. The latter is generally tested with the wet blotting paper technique (WBPT). However, microscopical examination (MT) of the coat brushing material is sometimes suggested as an alternative. This study aimed to compare the efficiency of the two techniques. In dogs, the entire body was hand-brushed and cats were combed. One half of the collected material was mounted in liquid paraffin on a glass slide and examined microscopically at low magnification. The second half was placed on a blotting paper and sterile water was added. After drying, reddish aureoles were counted. 255 animals (158 dogs and 97 cats) were included. 119 (47%) and 94 (37%) samples were revealed to be positive with WBPT and MT, respectively. 13 cases (5%) were positive with MT only and 38 cases (15%) were positive with WBPT only. 81 cases (32%) were positive and 123 (48%) were negative with both techniques. More positive cases were detected by WBPT than MT (P < 0.001). Amongst the 51 samples which were found positive with a sole technique, infestation was considered low in 43 cases and WBPT detected significantly more positive samples (31) than MT (12), P < 0.01.
    01/2014; 2014:292085. DOI:10.1155/2014/292085


Available from