Fleas parasitizing domestic dogs in Georgia, USA: Species composition and seasonal abundance
ABSTRACT Monthly flea collections were made from domestic dogs in Bulloch County, Georgia, USA from September 1996 to August 2004. A total of 2518 fleas belonging to 8 species were collected. The most common flea was the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (389 males and 1148 females), followed by the dog flea, Ctenocephalides canis (250 males and 285 females), a generalist/carnivore flea, Pulex simulans (106 males and 213 females), and a sticktight flea, Echidnophaga gallinacea (3 males and 89 females). Small numbers of rabbit-associated fleas (25 Cediopsylla simplex and 6 Odontopsyllus multispinosus) and rodent-associated fleas (3 Orchopeas howardi and 1 Polygenis gwyni), suggested that certain dogs had acquired these particular ectoparasites through hunting activities. Sex ratios of each of the five most frequently collected flea species were female-biased. Seasonally, C. felis, C. canis, and P. simulans, all showed distinct abundance peaks in late summer or autumn.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Fleas of the genus Ctenocephalides serve as vectors for a number of rickettsial zoonoses, including Rickettsia felis. There are currently no published reports of the presence and distribution of R. felis in India, however, the ubiquitous distribution of its vector Ctenocephalides felis, makes it possible that the pathogen is endemic to the region. This study investigates the occurrence of Rickettsia spp. infection in various subspecies of C. felis infesting dogs from urban areas of Mumbai, Delhi and Rajasthan in India. Methods: Individual fleas collected off 77 stray dogs from Mumbai, Delhi and Rajasthan were screened for Rickettsia spp. by a conventional PCR targeting the ompB gene. Further genetic characterisation of Rickettsia-positive fleas was carried out using nested PCR and phylogenetic analysis of partial DNA sequences of the gltA and ompA genes. Ctenocephalides spp. were morphologically and genetically identified by PCR targeting a fragment of cox1 gene. Results: Overall, 56/77 fleas (72.7%), including 22/24 (91.7%) from Delhi, 32/44 (72.7%) from Mumbai and 2/9 (22.2%) from Rajasthan were positive for Rickettsia DNA at the ompB gene. Sequences of gltA fragments confirmed the amplification of Rickettsia sp. genotype RF2125. The ompA gene of Rickettsia sp. genotype RF2125 was characterised for the first time and shown 96% identical to R. felis. Three species of Ctenocephalides were identified, with the Ctenocephalides felis orientis being the dominant flea species (69/77; 89.6%) in India, followed by Ctenocephalides felis felis (8/77; 10.4%). Conclusions: High occurrence of Rickettsia sp. genotype RF2125 in C. felis orientis and the absence of R. felis suggests a specific vector-endosymbiont adaptation and coevolution of the Rickettsia felis-like sp. within subspecies of C. felis.Parasites & Vectors 03/2015; 8:169. DOI:10.1186/s13071-015-0781-x · 3.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The efficacy of orally administered afoxolaner against adult dog fleas, Ctenocephalides canis, was evaluated in a controlled, blinded study. A total of 32 dogs were infested with 100 adult unfed fleas approximately 24 h prior to treatment and then at weekly intervals for 5 weeks after treatment. Live fleas were counted upon removal at 12 h (for 16 dogs) and 24 h (for the remaining 16 dogs) after treatment (for counts performed the first week) or after infestation (for counts performed on subsequent weeks). In addition, flea eggs were collected from each pen and counted for the dogs with flea removal at 24 h. Dosing of individual dogs was achieved using a combination of the chewable tablets to be as close as possible to the minimum effective dose of 2.5 mg/kg. The percent efficacy of the afoxolaner treatment was ≥99.0% for all 24-h flea counts. For flea counts performed 12 h after treatment or infestations, the percent efficacy was ≥94.1% up to Day 21. After Day 1, no flea eggs were recovered from the afoxolaner treated group, providing 100% reduction in numbers of flea eggs recovered versus untreated control group. This study confirmed that a single oral treatment with afoxolaner provided excellent efficacy against infestations by C. canis within 12–24 h after treatment, prevented re-infestations, and completely prevented egg production from new flea infestations for up to 5 weeks.Veterinary Parasitology 04/2014; 201(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.02.014 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ctenocephalides fleas are not only the most prevalent ectoparasites of dogs and cats but also the intermediate host of the cestode Dipylidium caninum. Due to the poor sensitivity of coproscopy to diagnose cat and dog infestation by Dipylidium, few epidemiological data are available on its prevalence among pet populations. A new PCR method was developed to specifically identify D. caninum rDNA inside single fleas. The PCR test was then applied to 5529 fleas of Ctenocephalides genus, 2701 Ctenocephalides felis fleas (1969 collected on 435 cats and 732 on 178 dogs) and 2828 Ctenocephalides canis fleas collected from 396 dogs. Precisely, 4.37% of cats were infested by a flea population infected with D. caninum. Out of the 1969 C. felis from cats, 2.23% were found to be infected with Dipylidium. From the 396 dogs infested with C. canis, 9.1%% were infested with the Dipylidium infected fleas, which is significantly higher than the observation made in cats (p=0.03). Moreover, 3.1% of the C. canis fleas were found to be infected with Dipylidium, which is not significantly different than in C. felis. Looking at the number of infected fleas in the positive samples (at least one PCR positive flea in a sample), the infestation rate in samples was varied from 3 to 100% with an average of 19.7% which is in favour of easy and regular Dipylidium reinfestations of both cats and dogs in households. For the first time, the spread of D. caninum between fleas and dogs and cats is confirmed throughout Europe.Veterinary Parasitology 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.06.008 · 2.55 Impact Factor