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During 2005, 31 uk veterinary practices participated in a survey of flea infestation, during which 2653 dogs and 1508 cats were examined for evidence of flea infestation and skin disease compatible with flea allergy dermatitis (fad). The prevalence of flea infestation in the cats was 21.09 per cent, significantly (P<0.001) higher than in the dogs (6.82 per cent). The prevalence of skin lesions compatible with fad in the cats (8.02 per cent) was also significantly (P<0.001) higher than in the dogs (3.32 per cent). Flea infestations were more common in households with cats and with more than one pet. Of 467 fleas identified from the cats, 462 (98.93 per cent) were Ctenocephalides felis, one was Ctenocephalides canis, one was Archaeopsylla erinacei, two were Pulex irritans, and one was Spilopsyllus cuniculi. Of 336 fleas identified from the dogs, 313 (93.15 per cent) were C felis, five were C Canis, 12 were A erinacei, five were P irritans, and one was Ceratophyllus (Nosophyllus) fasciatus. Almost half of the owners of the dogs and cats were unaware of their pet's flea infestation. The overall prevalence of fleas and/or skin lesions that could potentially be compatible with fad was 7.46 per cent in the dogs and 22.28 per cent in the cats.
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The Veterinary Record, April 14, 2007
Mencke 2001a, b). When the fleas did not fit the key, a refer-
ence text was consulted (Smit 1957). In cases where more
than five fleas were received from one animal, five were taken
at random from the bijou tube for identification.
Flea infestations and owners’ awareness
The practices were asked to examine every dog and every cat
that entered the practice during a week of five working days
in July 2005 for evidence of fleas and signs of skin disease
potentially consistent with flea allergy dermatitis (
FAD). In the
case of dogs, these signs included crusted papules and trau-
matic alopecia, particularly over the dorsal lumbar area; in
the case of cats, suggestive lesions included a papulocrustous
(miliary) dermatitis and/or symmetrical traumatic alopecia.
Each pet was examined visually for signs of fleas or flea dirt
by parting the coat, and it was combed thoroughly with a flea
comb for one minute, and the debris collected was checked
for signs of fleas or flea dirt. Veterinary surgeons examined
the skin of the pets for signs that could potentially be com-
patible with
FAD. The number of cats and dogs in each of the
pet’s homes was recorded. If the pet had signs of flea infesta-
tion, the owner was asked whether they were aware of the
fleas, and also whether they were aware of the implications
for their home. Each veterinary practice was provided with
forms on which to record the above information.
Statistical analyses
Chi-squared tests were used to compare the prevalence of
flea infestations between dogs and cats, between households
with and without cats, and between households with one, or
more than one animal. The chi-squared test was also used
to compare the frequency of skin lesions in dogs and cats.
The analyses were performed using the Unistat v3.0 statistical
software package, with P<0·05 accepted as significant.
RESULTS
Flea sampling and identification
Of the 31 practices recruited, 28 returned fleas to the Royal
Veterinary College for identification. The samples were
received between July 21, and September 16, 2005. In total,
485 fleas from cats and 344 fleas from dogs were examined.
Eighteen fleas collected from cats and eight fleas obtained
from dogs were unidentifiable, usually owing to damage to
the ctenidia or limbs. Of the 467 fleas identified from the
cats, 462 (98·93 per cent) were C felis, one (0·21 per cent)
FLEAS are small wingless insects of the order Siphonaptera
that parasitise many species of mammals and birds and have
the potential to cause irritation and allergic dermatitis. Many
flea species may parasitise human beings and some are known
to be carriers of zoonotic diseases; for example, Ctenocephalides
felis is a known vector for Bartonella species, the microbial
pathogen involved in cat scratch disease (Shaw and others
2004). Fleas may also transmit other pathogens such as haem-
oplasmas and rickettsiae (Shaw and others 2004).
There have been few studies of the prevalence of infesta-
tions of dogs and cats by different species of fleas in the
UK,
and most of them have been confined to relatively small areas
(Beresford-Jones 1981, Chesney 1995, Clark 1999). There is
also little information about pet owners’ awareness of these
infestations. The primary aim of this study was to find out
what species of fleas commonly infest dogs and cats currently
in the
UK; the second aim was to determine the prevalence of
the flea infestations and to investigate the pets owners’ aware-
ness of these infestations.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study design
Thirty-one veterinary practices from across the
UK were
recruited (Fig 1). They were invited to examine dogs and cats
for evidence of flea infestations and dermatological lesions
potentially associated with them, to collect flea samples for
identification, and to assess the owners’ awareness of the
infestations.
Flea sampling and identification
The practices were asked to collect no more than five adult
fleas from each of 10 cats and 10 dogs. They were collected
with a flea comb, placed in 5 ml bijou tubes containing 2·5
ml of 70 per cent ethanol and posted to the Royal Veterinary
College for identification.
Each flea to be identified was placed on a glass slide and
immersed in a small amount of 70 per cent ethanol and a
cover slip was then applied. The fleas were examined by light
microscopy, using the x 4, x 10 and x 40 objectives, and identi-
fied according to the key described by Soulsby (1982). In cases
where the genal ctenidia and head shape of Ctenocephalides
species did not allow clear differentiation between C felis and
Ctenocephalides canis, the numbers of teeth on the tibia were
counted; C felis has four to five teeth on each tibia whereas
C canis has seven to eight teeth on each tibia (Kramer and
Survey of flea infestation in dogs and cats in
the United Kingdom during 2005
R. Bond, A. Riddle, L. Mottram, F. Beugnet, R. Stevenson
During 2005, 31 UK veterinary practices participated in a survey of flea infestation, during which 2653 dogs
and 1508 cats were examined for evidence of flea infestation and skin disease compatible with flea allergy
dermatitis (
FAD). The prevalence of flea infestation in the cats was 21·09 per cent, significantly (P<0·001)
higher than in the dogs (6·82 per cent). The prevalence of skin lesions compatible with
FAD in the cats (8·02
per cent) was also significantly (P<0·001) higher than in the dogs (3·32 per cent). Flea infestations were
more common in households with cats and with more than one pet. Of 467 fleas identified from the cats,
462 (98·93 per cent) were Ctenocephalides felis, one was Ctenocephalides canis, one was Archaeopsylla
erinacei, two were Pulex irritans, and one was Spilopsyllus cuniculi. Of 336 fleas identified from the dogs,
313 (93·15 per cent) were C felis, five were C Canis, 12 were A erinacei, five were P irritans, and one was
Ceratophyllus (Nosophyllus) fasciatus. Almost half of the owners of the dogs and cats were unaware of
their pet’s flea infestation. The overall prevalence of fleas and/or skin lesions that could potentially be
compatible with
FAD was 7·46 per cent in the dogs and 22·28 per cent in the cats.
Veterinary Record (2007)
160, 503-506
R. Bond, BVMS, PhD, DVD,
DipECVD, MRCVS,
A. Riddle, BSc,
L. Mottram,
BSc,
Department of Veterinary
Clinical Sciences, Royal
Veterinary College,
Hawkshead Lane, North
Mymms, Hatfield
AL9 7TA
F. Beugnet, DVM, MSc,
PhD, DipEVPC,
Merial SAS, 13c Avenue
Einstein, 69623
Villeurbanne, France
R. Stevenson, MA, VetMB,
MRCVS,
Merial Animal Health,
PO Box 327, Harlow, Essex
Correspondence to
Ms Stevenson
Papers & Articles
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The Veterinary Record, April 14, 2007
Papers & Articles
was C canis, two (0·43 per cent) were Pulex irritans, one was
Archaeopsylla erinacei, and one was Spilopsyllus cuniculi (Table
1). Of the 336 fleas identified from the dogs, 313 (93·15 per
cent) were C felis, five (1·49 per cent) were C canis, five were
P irritans, 12 (3·57 per cent) were A erinacei and one (0·30 per
cent) was Ceratophyllus (Nosophyllus) fasciatus (Table 1).
In one case, two flea species were identified from the same
cat; four C felis and one P irritans were identified. In two
cases, two flea species were identified from the same dog;
in one case, two C felis and one C fasciatus were identified,
and in the other, three C felis and one C canis were identified
(Table 2).
C felis was identified in submissions from all the prac-
tices (Table 2). C canis was present in submissions from four
practices in Scotland, North Yorkshire, Essex and Northern
Ireland. The hedgehog flea, A erinacei, was recovered by six
practices in all areas except London, Wales and Northern
Ireland. S cuniculi was found by one practice in Scotland and
C fasciatus by one practice in Suffolk. P irritans was recovered
by one London practice and by a practice in Oxfordshire.
Flea infestations and owners’ awareness
All of the 31 practices provided data relating to the examina-
tion of cats and dogs in the practice. Of the 2653 dogs that
were examined, 181 (6·82 per cent) were found to have evi-
dence of active flea infestations, that is, flea dirt or adult fleas,
and 88 dogs (3·32 per cent) were found to have skin lesions
that could have been compatible with
FAD; of the dogs with
these skin lesions, 71 had signs of an active flea infestation
when they were examined. In total, 198 dogs (7·46 per cent)
were found to have evidence of an active flea infestation and/
or skin lesions that could potentially be compatible with
FAD.
Of the 1508 cats that were examined, 318 (21·09 per cent)
had evidence of active flea infestations, and they were sig-
nificantly more frequently (P<0·001) infested with fleas than
the dogs; 121 of the cats (8·02 per cent) had skin lesions that
could potentially have been compatible with
FAD. The cats
had skin lesions suggestive of FAD significantly more fre-
quently (P<0·001) than the dogs. Of the cats with these skin
signs, 103 had obvious signs of an active flea infestation when
they were examined. In total, 336 of the cats (22·28 per cent)
had evidence of an active flea infestation and/or skin lesions
that could potentially have been compatible with
FAD.
Ninety-five of the 181 dogs (52·49 per cent) with signs
of an active flea infestation lived in a multipet household,
whereas 765 of the 2472 dogs (30·95 per cent) that did not
have signs of an active flea infestation lived in a multipet
household. Of the 95 dogs from multipet households that
had signs of an active flea infestation, 63 (66·32 per cent)
lived with a cat, whereas of the 765 dogs from multipet
households that did not have fleas, only 291 (38·04 per cent)
lived with a cat. The presence of a cat in a multipet house-
hold significantly increased (P<0·001) the risk of other pets
in the household having a flea infestation. One hundred and
eighty-six of the 318 cats (58·49 per cent) with signs of an
active flea infestation lived in a multipet household, whereas
487 of the 1190 cats (40·92 per cent) that did not have signs of
an active flea infestation lived in a multipet household. Living
in a multipet household significantly increased (P<0·001) the
risk of either a dog or cat having a flea infestation.
Of the owners whose pets had signs of an active flea infes-
tation, 90 (49·72 per cent) of the dog owners and 153 (48·11
per cent) of the cat owners were unaware that their pet had
fleas. In addition, 75 of the dog owners (41·44 per cent) and
113 of the cat owners (35·53 per cent) were unaware that if
their pet had fleas then the large part of the fleas’ life cycle
FIG 1: Map showing the distribution of the 31 veterinary
practices that took part in a survey of flea infestation in dogs
and cats during 2005
Number (%) of fleas identified in samples from
Flea species Cats Dogs
Ctenocephalides felis 462 (98·93) 313 (93·15)
Ctenocephalides canis 1 (0·21) 5 (1·49)
Pulex irritans 2 (0·43) 5 (1·49)
Archaeopsylla erinacei 1 (0·21) 12 (3·57)
Spilopsyllus cuniculi 1 (0·21) 0
Ceratophyllus fasciatus 0 1 (0·30)
Total identified 467 (100) 336 (100)
Unidentifiable 18 8
TABLE 1: Numbers of each flea species identified, and
percentage of the total identified, in samples obtained from
cats and dogs by 28 veterinary practices during a survey of flea
infestation in the
UK during 2005
Number of Flea species identified Mixed flea infestations
Area of
UK practices in area in area – where identified
Northern Ireland 2 Ctenocephalides felis
NA
Ctenocephalides canis
Scotland 4 C felis
NA
C canis
Archaeopsylla erinacei
Spilopsyllus cuniculi
North 5 C felis
NA
C canis
A erinacei
Midlands 3 C felis
NA
A erinacei
Wales 1 C felis
NA
South west 3 C felis C felis + Pulex irritans
A erinacei (Practice 25, case 1)
P irritans
London 5 C felis C felis + C Canis
C canis (Practice 6, case 15)
P irritans
South east 5 C felis C felis + Ceratophyllus
C canis fasciatus (Practice 4,
A erinacei case 15)
C fasciatus
NA Not applicable
TABLE 2: Distribution of flea species identified in samples obtained from cats and dogs by 28
veterinary practices during a survey of flea infestation in the
UK during 2005
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Papers & Articles
The Veterinary Record, April 14, 2007
(eggs, larvae and pupae) would be developing in their home
environment.
Both fleas and skin lesions that could potentially have
been compatible with
FAD were recorded in all regions of the
UK on both cats and dogs, with the exception of the single
practice in Wales that contributed data on only four dogs
and two cats (Table 3). Excluding the Welsh data, the preva-
lence of fleas and/or skin lesions that could potentially have
been compatible with
FAD ranged from 4·40 per cent in dogs
in north England and 12·59 per cent in cats in Scotland, to
14·73 per cent in dogs and 38·46 per cent in cats in the south
east of England. The overall prevalence of fleas and/or skin
lesions that could potentially have been compatible with
FAD
was 7·46 per cent in dogs and 22·28 per cent in cats.
DISCUSSION
The results of this study are in broad agreement with the
results of previous surveys of flea carriage in dogs and cats
in the
UK (Beresford-Jones 1981, Chesney 1995, Clark 1999),
and confirm that C felis is the species of flea found most com-
monly in both cats and dogs. C felis was also by far the domi-
nant species found on cats in New Zealand (Guzman 1984),
Greece (Koutinas and others 1995), Ireland (Wall and others
1997), France (Cadiergues and others 2000) and Germany
(Visser and others 2001).
The flea species of importance in dogs appeared to show
marked geographical variation. C felis was the flea species
found most commonly on dogs in the present survey, and
also in previous surveys conducted in the
UK (Beresford-
Jones 1981, Chesney 1995, Clark 1999), Germany (Visser and
others 2001) and France (Franc and others 1998), but C canis
dominated the flea species recovered from dogs in Ireland
(Wall and others 1997), Greece (Koutinas and others 1995),
Argentina (Gonzalez and others 2004) and New Zealand
(Guzman 1984). An earlier report from the
UK indicated that
C canis accounted for 84 per cent of the fleas recovered from
dogs (Edwards 1969), suggesting that the relative abundance
of C felis on dogs may be a more recent phenomenon. C canis
may be more adapted to the lower temperatures found in cer-
tain geographical areas, or in dogs kept outdoors in kennels
(Chesney 1995, Wall and others 1997).
Although nearly all the fleas were C felis, five other species
were found, indicating that dogs and cats act as hosts for a
variety of species. It seems likely that cats and dogs become
carriers of monoxenous flea species, such as S cuniculi and
A erinacei, through hunting and exposure to the primary
hosts of these species, rabbits and hedgehogs, respectively.
The more frequent isolation of A erinacei from dogs than
cats suggests that cats may have less interest in or be more
circumspect when approaching hedgehogs. The source of the
‘human flea, P irritans, for the dogs and cats is not certain;
a human host is possible, but the species has also been asso-
ciated with pigs, badgers and rats (Soulsby 1982). A recent
report from Hungary reported that 62 of 100 red foxes were
infested with P irritans (Sreter and others 2003).
The carriage of the rabbit flea, S cuniculi, by cats and dogs
could lead to the transfer of the fleas on to pet rabbits kept in
the same household. Fleas are an important vector of myxo-
matosis, and unvaccinated pet rabbits could be at risk from
the disease.
To the authors’ knowledge, none of the previous studies
of the prevalence of flea infestations on dogs and cats in the
UK has looked at such a large sample of the pet population.
The overall prevalence of flea infestations on dogs (7·46 per
cent) and cats (22·28 per cent) and for the London area were
substantially lower than those reported by Beresford-Jones
(1981), who found a prevalence at postmortem examination
of 20·2 per cent in dogs and 56 per cent in cats from central
London. These differences might be due to local geographical
differences, differences in case recruitment, or a lower overall
prevalence of flea infestation as a result of the widespread use
of modern insecticides in animals that visit veterinary prac-
tices. However, the overall prevalence of the flea infestations
on the dogs and cats, and the prevalence in the Midlands
region (dogs 4·68 per cent, cats 21·88 per cent) were very
similar to those reported by Clark (1999), who found that 7·8
per cent of 257 dogs and 20·6 per cent of 126 cats in Leicester
were infested by C felis in 1995 to 1996.
In both the dogs and cats, the highest prevalence of flea
infestations and skin lesions that could potentially have been
compatible with
FAD was found in the south east of England,
for reasons that are not clear. Factors that may affect the
prevalence of fleas in different regions are likely to include
climate (temperature and humidity), the density of the pet
population and of the wildlife population, and a number of
socioeconomic factors.
The higher prevalence of fleas and signs suggestive of
FAD
observed in cats than dogs might be associated with the out-
door, roaming lifestyle often adopted by cats in the
UK. It has
been suggested that cats may roam more widely than dogs,
thus having more opportunity to acquire fleas from contact
with other mammals or infested environments (Kramer and
Mencke 2001a, b). Cats may also have resting places out-
doors that would be unlikely to be treated with insecticide.
The higher prevalence of flea infestations on cats and dogs
in households with more than one pet indicates that keep-
ing more than one pet is a risk factor for flea infestation. In
particular, dogs living with cats are at increased risk, possibly
owing to the roaming lifestyle of cats and their potential to
transport fleas back to the home.
To the authors’ knowledge there is no published informa-
tion on the awareness of pet owners about flea infestations
in the
UK. In this survey, a large number of the owners were
unaware not only of their pet’s flea infestation, but also of the
implications of this infestation for their home environment, a
lack of awareness that has potential health and welfare impli-
cations for both the pets and the families with whom they
live. This information suggests that the veterinary profession
Number of practices Number (%) of dogs with Number (%) of cats with
Area of
UK in area Fleas FAD Fleas or FAD* Fleas FAD Fleas or FAD*
Northern Ireland 2 18 (8·78) 3 (1·46) 18 (8·78) 25 (24·27) 7 (6·80) 25 (24·27)
Scotland 4 16 (5·08) 4 (1·27) 17 (5·40) 17 (11·89) 6 (4·20) 18 (12·59)
North 7 24 (3·91) 15 (2·44) 27 (4·40) 55 (17·57) 21 (6·71) 58 (18·53)
Midlands 4 16 (4·16) 10 (2·60) 18 (4·68) 45 (20·09) 18 (8·04) 49 (21·88)
Wales 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
South west 3 18 (7·66) 5 (2·13) 19 (8·09) 23 (22·12) 6 (5·77) 23 (22·12)
London 5 18 (5·66) 14 (4·40) 23 (7·23) 32 (13·39) 15 (6·28) 36 (15·06)
South east 5 69 (14·32) 36 (7·47) 71 (14·73) 105 (36·71) 46 (16·08) 110 (38·46)
*Some individuals with signs of
FAD had no evidence of fleas, and vice versa
TABLE 3: Regional prevalence of flea infestation and signs potentially compatible with flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) in dogs and cats
in 31 veterinary practices during a survey of flea infestation in the UK during 2005
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and the animal health industry should try to improve pet
owners’ awareness of the problem of flea infestation.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors thank the staff of all the veterinary practices that
took part in the survey and all pet owners who consented to
their pets’ involvement.
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2007 160: 503-506Veterinary Record
R. Bond, A. Riddle, L. Mottram, et al.
the United Kingdom during 2005
Survey of flea infestation in dogs and cats in
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... There has been a large amount of previous research on domestic animal flea biology and control over the past 20 years such as a 2005 study across 31 UK veterinary practices that found flea infestations of 21.09% in cats and 6.82% in dogs finding increased infestations where a cat was present within a household with other pets (Bond et al., 2007). The overwhelming flea species across both cats and dogs was determined to be C. felis accounting for 98.83% in cats and 93.15% in dogs. ...
... This considered, consistent with previous practice-level studies, we have shown that the prevalence of veterinary professionalrecorded flea infestations in cats was approximately twice that of dogs. Although flea species data was not collected, we can speculate that similarities within this study suggest that the cat flea, The prevalence of infestation reported here for both cats and dogs is much lower than that obtained when animals are purposefully scrutinized for evidence of fleas using a standardized body screening/ adult flea sampling protocol in practices recruited for that purpose (Abdullah et al., 2019;Bond et al., 2007). Indeed, these previous UK-based studies showed that flea infestation exists between 21.09%-28.00% of cats and 6.82%-14.00% of dogs carried fleas. ...
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Fleas in the genus Ctenocephalides are the most clinically important parasitic arthropods of dogs and cats worldwide yet risk factors that might increase the risk of infestation in small animals remains unclear. Here we developed a supervised text mining approach analysing key aspects of flea epidemiology using electronic health records from domestic cats and dogs seen at a sentinel network of 191 voluntary veterinary practices across Great Britain between March 2014 and July 2020. Our methods identified fleas as likely to have been present during 22,276 of 1,902,016 cat consultations (1.17%) and 12,168 of 4,844,850 dog consultations (0.25%). Multivariable logistic regression modelling found that animals originating from areas of least deprivation were associated with 50% reductions in odds of veterinary-recorded flea infestation compared to the most deprived regions in England. Age of the animal was significantly associated with flea presentation in both cats and dogs, with cases peaking before animals reached 12 months. Cases were recorded through each study years, peaking between July and October, with fluctuations between each year. Our findings can be used towards healthcare messaging for veterinary practitioners and owners.
... The prevalence of flea infestation in our results was considerably lower than reported in veterinary-based surveys of UK dogs (6.82-14.40%) 87,88 . The higher prevalence reported by Abdullah et al. might be because their methodology required veterinarians to adhere to a strict protocol when collecting samples, but the authors suggested that the true prevalence might be higher still, due to the poor sensitivity of qPCR methods. ...
... The higher prevalence reported by Abdullah et al. might be because their methodology required veterinarians to adhere to a strict protocol when collecting samples, but the authors suggested that the true prevalence might be higher still, due to the poor sensitivity of qPCR methods. Additionally, Bond et al. found that almost half of dog owners did not know that their dogs had flea infestations, which could lead to considerable underestimation of the true prevalence via veterinary reporting 87 . Furthermore, it is likely that many owners buy anti-parasitic treatments over the counter, so it is not clear how accurately veterinary clinical data represents the true prevalence of parasite infestation. ...
Article
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The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide, therefore it is important to have reliable evidence on the general health issues of the breed. Using anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass Programme, this study aimed to explore the relative risk to common disorders in the Labrador Retriever. The clinical records of a random sample of dogs were reviewed to extract the most definitive diagnoses for all disorders recorded during 2016. A list of disorders was generated, including the 30 most common disorders in Labrador Retrievers and the 30 most common disorders in non-Labrador Retrievers. Multivariable logistic regression was used to report the odds of each of these disorders in 1462 (6.6%) Labrador Retrievers compared with 20,786 (93.4%) non-Labrador Retrievers. At a specific-level of diagnostic precision, after accounting for confounding, Labrador Retrievers had significantly increased odds of 12/35 (34.3%) disorders compared to non-Labrador Retrievers; osteoarthritis (OR 2.83) had the highest odds. Conversely, Labrador Retrievers had reduced odds of 7/35 (20.0%) disorders; patellar luxation (OR 0.18) had the lowest odds. This study provides useful information about breed-specific disorder predispositions and protections, which future research could evaluate further to produce definitive guidance for Labrador Retriever breeders and owners.
... Ceratophyllus spp. have sporadically been reported on domestic dogs (Bond et al. 2007, Beck et al. 2006, but this is the first report of a Ceratophyllus species in the dens of arctic foxes. ...
Thesis
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Warming temperatures continue to impact arthropod diversity, density, and distribution in the Canadian Arctic. Consequently, arboviruses and other pathogens that rely on vector transmission have become a growing wildlife and public health concern. As the western Arctic is the most rapidly warming region of Canada and indeed the globe (along with Antarctica), it is imperative to obtain baselines and detect changes in the distribution of vector-borne pathogens, potential reservoirs, and pathogenesis in wildlife hosts. In this thesis, we characterize the prevalence of three groups of vector-borne pathogens in northern Canadian wildlife (California serogroup viruses (CSV), Bartonella spp. and Francisella tularensis bacteria). We also reveal aspects of the disease ecology for these viruses and bacteria, including potential reservoirs and transmission mechanisms. First, we completed a large-scale survey of wildlife in northern Canada for exposure to CSV. Antibodies were detected in all large mammals, including caribou (63%), arctic fox (4%), red fox (12%), and polar bear (28%), and associations with climate and biological factors were identified for polar bears. Both summer air temperatures and sex were significantly correlated with CSV exposure, indicating that climate warming and movement from sea ice onto land increased exposure to CSV in polar bears. Seroprevalence identified in caribou herds from Nunavut (80%) and Northwest Territories (83%) raised questions about their role as a potential reservoir species for Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), the CSV that is established in cervids in temperate regions of North America. This led to work with captive reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We determined that reindeer in this herd (housed outdoors) are exposed to CSV under natural conditions, with almost all animals naturally exposed after 2 summers of life. Experimental exposure of naïve and low titre reindeer to JCV demonstrated that they become viremic for up to five days with no observable symptoms, thus serving as reservoirs for JCV and potentially suitable amplifying hosts for mosquitoes. Second, we characterized the diversity of Bartonella communities in rodent reservoirs and revealed a complex web of Bartonella transmission between arctic foxes and their prey species, including rodents and migratory Ross’s and lesser snow geese in the central Canadian Arctic. Most importantly, we found that Bartonella transmission to foxes may occur via nest fleas during nest predation, emphasizing the role of migratory birds as transporters of invertebrate vectors and their pathogens. During this project, we also observed, for the first time, abnormal fur loss on arctic foxes in this population and identified a novel cryptic species of lice. Finally, we determined exposure of resident arctic foxes at Karrak Lake, Nunavut over the past decade to Francisella tularensis. Antibodies to F. tularensis were correlated with rodent abundance and climate factors associated with rodent survival (spring temperatures, spring snow cover and average summer precipitation), indicating that rodents play an important role in transmission in northern Canada and that young foxes are ideal sentinels for annual transmission risk due to their role as scavengers and predators. The Arctic is not generally considered a hotbed of vector-borne disease, and our work on CSV demonstrates that this is a naïve assumption, with caribou serving as a heavily exposed and potentially asymptomatic reservoir, and that exposure of polar bears may be increasing as they spend more time on land. Our work on Bartonella demonstrates the importance of massive seasonal migrations of birds in introducing temperate species of these intracellular bacteria into transmission of endemic species between rodents (their normal reservoirs) and arctic fox. Our reporting that a newly documented species of fox lice (not a recent introduction of dog lice) is causing fur loss and pelt damage to arctic fox has significance for management and for better understanding the phylogenetic relationships of these highly host specific ectoparasites. And finally, our work on tularemia demonstrates the utility of long-term wildlife health monitoring to better understand the role of native Arctic species in the transmission dynamics of these zoonotic pathogens above the tree line. Together, this thesis reveals a narrative of disease ecology current with climatic changes in one of the most dynamic and remote regions on Earth, where close relationships with wildlife an the land are ecologically and culturally significant
... Grounddwelling rodent burrows also provide the required habitat for all life stages of Oropsylla fleas (Eskey and Haas, 1940;Sheets et al. 1971). Understanding the relationship between prairie dog burrow microclimate and flea abundance is important, because high flea numbers can adversely affect hosts from parasitism, such as dermatitis and anemia (Scheidt, 1988;Yeruham et al. 1989;Araú jo et al. 1998;Bond et al. 2007). In addition, peak seasonal abundance of prairie dog fleas has been correlated with the risk of Y. pestis transmission (Tripp et al. 2009;Biggins et al. 2010;Biggins and Eads, 2019). ...
Article
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Fleas are common ectoparasites of vertebrates worldwide and vectors of many pathogens causing disease, such as sylvatic plague in prairie dog colonies. Development of fleas is regulated by environmental conditions, especially temperature and relative humidity. Development rates are typically slower at low temperatures and faster at high temperatures, which are bounded by lower and upper thresholds where development is reduced. Prairie dogs and their associated fleas (mostly Oropsylla spp) live in burrows that moderate outside environmental conditions, remaining cooler in summer and warmer in winter. We found burrow microclimates were characterized by stable daily temperatures and high relative humidity, with temperatures increasing from spring through summer. We previously showed temperature increases corresponded with increasing off-host flea abundance. To evaluate how changes in temperature could affect future prairie dog flea development and abundance, we used development rates of O. montana (a species related to prairie dog fleas), determined how prairie dog burrow microclimates are affected by ambient weather, and combined these results to develop a predictive model. Our model predicts burrow temperatures and flea development rates will increase during the twenty-first century, potentially leading to higher flea abundance and an increased probability of plague epizootics if Y. pestis is present.
... Of those, C. felis felis are found much more frequently than C. canis on cats and dogs in many temperate and tropical regions, and represent the great majority of fleas in human homes [2]. The prevalence of flea infestations on companion animals was reported as varying from 10.0% to 40.0% in European countries [3][4][5][6], and 14.8% to 19.6% in Asian countries [7]. Infestation rates are highly variable and depend on the location (rural or urban), animal's lifestyle (outdoor or indoor), sampling season (winter or autumn), and the frequency of effective insecticidal treatments [8]. ...
Article
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Fleas are considered as hosts for a wide range of pathogens that cause emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases worldwide. Data on fleas and flea-borne pathogens (FBPs) in the international literature are limited in Vietnam. This study aimed to investigate the species of fleas and the presence of pathogens of interest in fleas in northern Vietnam using PCR and sequence analysis. Out of 200 dogs enrolled in this study, 20% were infested by the flea species Ctenocephalides felis felis. In total, 62 fleas (35 females and 27 males) collected from domestic dogs were molecularly screened for the detection of pathogens. Out of the screened fleas, 39 were positive for Rickettsia felis (62.9%), 9 for Candidatus Mycoplasma hemobos (14.52%), and 6 for Mycoplasma wenyonii (9.68%). This study shows the first molecular detection of the above-mentioned pathogens in fleas collected from the studied areas and the potential risk of infection with examined FBPs in northern Vietnam.
... Ectoparasite infestation among pet animals is highly prevalent, of which flea is among the major ectoparasites, along with ticks and mosquitoes that parasitize cats and dogs. Globally, flea infestation is a major issue in veterinary practices due to its associated skin diseases which was a main reason for seeking of veterinary treatment (Bond, Riddle, Mottram, Beugnet, & Stevenson, 2007). High-flea prevalence on cats was reported in most parts of the world such as Florida, USA (92.5%) (Akucewich et al., 2002), Brazil (60%) (Mendes-de-Almeida et al., 2011), Albania (51.2%) (Knaus et al., 2014), Ethiopia (75.2%) (Kumsa, Abiy, & Abunna, 2019), Egypt (57.1%) (El-Seify, Aggour, Sultan, & Marey, 2016), Iran (84%) (Hajipour, Keighobadi, Abad, Golabi, & Badali, 2015), Australia (88.4%) (Schloderer, Owen, Clark, Stenos, & Fenwick, 2006), Thailand (88.3%) (Jittapalapong et al., 2008) as well as in Malaysia (71.8%) (Azrizal-Wahid, Sofian-Azirun, & Low, 2019). ...
Article
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A structured questionnaire was distributed to a total of 531 cat owners in Peninsular Malaysia to evaluate their perceptions toward fleas and flea-borne diseases (FBD) using a knowledge-attitude-practice (KAP) approach. This study showed that majority of cat owners (50.5%) had a moderate level of knowledge on fleas, while 65.3% of them had a relatively low level of knowledge on FBD. However, most of them had positive attitudes (87.9%) and good practices (94.5%) toward efforts on prevention from flea infestation and FBD. Statistical analysis showed significant associations between knowledge on fleas and FBD toward demographic and pet ownership profiles of the respondents. Educated cat owners from urban area were more likely to have positive attitudes toward prevention of fleas and FBD. Female cat owners with monthly income of RM 5,001–7,000 ($1143–1600) were more likely to have good practices. Middle-aged cat owners showed the highest odds toward both positive attitudes and good practices. Correlation analyses indicated significant linear relationships between both knowledge, which were also associated with attitudes, but not with practices.
Article
There are many causes of pruritus in domesticated dogs and cats and in this article, the second part of three papers devoted to the subject, the major allergic (hypersensitive) causes are discussed. Despite the tempting tendency to consider ectoparasites a major cause of pruritus in pets, the advent of a number of reliable, safe, effective and long-lasting ectoparasiticides into the veterinary market in recent decades, has meant that the average dog and cat, treated regularly and prophylactically for fleas, ticks and mites, is far less likely to become infested by such parasites. Consequently, allergic causes of itching have become relatively more likely to be seen in general practice. It is therefore important for both veterinary surgeons and nurses to recognise the historical and clinical features of these skin diseases, to allow an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan to be discussed by the veterinary team and with the client.
Article
Despite the success achieved in the control of parasitic animal diseases, there are still some issues that need to be scientifically sound. The issue of prevention and treatment of animals affected by ectoparasites is especially relevant. The study aimed to establish and experimentally confirm the effectiveness of innovative ectoparasiticides for dogs and cats for prevention and therapy in parasitic infections. Innovative antiparasitic drugs with the main active ingredient imidacloprid were used in the experiments: ‘MegaStop for dogs’ (drops for external use, spot application), ‘Golden Defence for dogs spot-on’, ‘MegaStop for cats’ (drops for external use, spot application), ‘Golden Defence for cats spot-on’. Following the objectives of the study, we used visual and microscopic methods in accordance with existing practical manuals and current guidelines. According to the results of the research, a stable infection of experimental dogs with fleas was established at the mean intensity of 7.5 ± 2.0 parasite individuals per 10 cm² of animal skin, and otodectosis, sarcoptosis, and notoedrosis were diagnosed separately in some animals. Experimental cats were diagnosed with otodectosis, notoedrosis, sarcoptosis, demodicosis by clinical signs. Parasitism of fleas on the animal bodies was detected, and in one animal heartworm disease was diagnosed. The mean intensity of flea infection in cats ranged from 8 to 12 parasite individuals per 10 cm2 of skin, and the mean intensity of mite infection was 2–3 mites in the field of view of the microscope. High activity of ‘MegaStop for dogs’, ‘Golden Defence for dogs spot-on’, ‘MegaStop for cats’, ‘Golden Defence for cats spot-on’ as agents with a broad spectrum of action against fleas (Ctenocephalides spp.), acariform mites (Otodectes cynotis, Notoedres cati, Sarcoptes sapis), mites of the genus Demodex; heartworm (effective against L3 and L4 larvae of Dirofilaria immitis) has been established
Article
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Allergies are a common concern among veterinarians who deal with pets. The symptoms are frustrating for most owners, especially the recurrent character of these diseases, leading to an increased number of consultations on this matter and highlighting the importance of research in this field. It is of great importance to establish the prevalence rate of these disorders for the practitioners, to offer a greater picture of the extent of these conditions. The study was conducted on 172 feline patients brought for consultation in four clinics from Timisoara, including the Veterinary Clinics from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Timisoara. Sixty-two of the cats were purebred and 110 were mix-breed, 89 were males and 83 were females. The animals were also separated according to age in three age groups. The diagnostic of the allergic diseases was established using common diagnostic methods such as skin scrapes, cytology, culture media, Wood's lamp test, flea-comb test. The overall prevalence rate of allergies was 14.53%, the most common allergies being the flea-allergy, followed by food-allergy, contact allergy, and non-flea-non-food induced dermatitis. The most affected age group was 0.2-3 years, it was observed to be more common in female cats and among the purebred animals.
Article
Cats and dogs carry a wide range of parasites with zoonotic potential. While much focus is placed on protecting owners and the wider public from these infections, veterinary staff are also at risk of exposure. Veterinary nurses may be exposed to parasites through direct contact with pets, indirect surface transmission, aerosols or via vectors. The risk of zoonotic parasite transmission, however, can be minimised in the workplace with a few simple practice-wide precautions. This article considers some of the routes of parasite exposure in practice and steps to reduce them.
Article
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The species of flea infesting pets and hedgehogs in Germany were investigated through a survey of small animal practitioners throughout the country who were asked to collect specimens at their veterinary practices. A total of 625 veterinarians/veterinary practices responded and provided 2445 intact anti identifiable flea specimens. These fleas originated from 294 dogs (795 fleas), 334 cats (1152 fleas), 76 hedgehogs (481 fleas), five domestic rabbits (10 fleas), one golden hamster (four fleas) and one ferret (three fleas). Dogs were found to be infested with Archaeopsylla erinacei, Chaetopsylla globiceps, Ctenocephalides canis, Ctenocephalides felis, Hystrichopsylla talpae, Nosopsyllus fasciatus, Paraceras melis and Pulex irritans. From cats, Archaeopsylla erinacei, Ceratophyllus gallinae, Ceratophyllus garei, Ctenocephalides felis, Ctenophthalmus assimilis, Hystrichopsylla talpae, Monopsyllus sciurorum, Nosopsyllus fasciatus, Spilopsyllus cuniculi and Typhloceras poppei were collected. In both dogs and cats the most prevalent species were Ctenocephalides felis (78.9% and 91.6%, respectively) and Archaeopsylla erinacei (21.1% and 12.6%, respectively) followed by Ctenocephalides canis in dogs (5.8%) and Hystrichopsylla talpae in cats (1.2%). The fleas isolated from rabbits were Ctenocephalides felis, Hystrichopsylla talpae and Spilopsyllus cuniculi. Nosopsyllus fasciatus and Ctenocephalides felis were recovered from the golden hamster and the ferret, respectively. The hedgehogs were found to be infested with Archaeopsylla erinacei, Ceratophyllus gallinae and Ctenocephalides felis.
Book
The book describes in great detail the complex life cycle of fleas. The text is based on the example of the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), the most important ectoparasite. The cat flea parasitizes not only dogs and cats but also warm-blooded animals and even humans. Besides being the cause of painfully itching bites and allergic skin diseases it is also a vector for viruses, bacteria, nematodes and cestodes. Over the years the market for insecticide use in small animals has become a major segment of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. Insecticides of the new generation should not only fight the existing infestation (therapy) but should also effectively prevent new infestations for weeks (prophylaxis). The latest class of chemicals developed to this effect are chloronicotinyls (syn. neonicotinoides). Imidacloprid is the first member of this class of insecticides with a high selectivity towards the site of action within an insect. Applied to the skin it combats flea infestation and prevents new infestations for at least four weeks. Flea Biology and Control describes the entire development behind the compound, starting with its discovery all the way to its use in the final product.
Article
A survey has been performed on 403 cats infected by fleas, coming from 75 departments distributed over french territory. Among the 1337 fleas collected, 8 species have been identified : Ctenocephalides felis (97.9 %), Spilopsyllus cuniculi (0.9 %), Ctenocephalides canis (0.5 %), Ceratophyllus sp. (0.3 %), Xenopsylla cheopis (0.07 %), Pulex irritans (0.07 %), Archeopsylla erinaceï (0.07 %) et Leptopsylla segnis (0.07 %). 97.8 % of cats were infected by C. felis and only 0.74 % by C. canis or Spilopsyllus cuniculi. C. felis has been identified on all over the country, on animals living inside or outside. All animals living inside were only infected by C. felis. On the other hand, other species were all collected on cats which had access outside, most of them had predatory habits.
Article
An account is given of the prevalence of fleas obtained at post-mortem examination from dogs and cats in the Camden Town area of central London during the period 1972–1976. From a total of 193 dogs, fleas were collected from 20 2%. The following species were represented: Ctenocephalides felis felis, Ctenocephalides canis and Orchopeas howardi. Of a total of 316 cats, 56% harboured fleas, all of which were found to be Ctenocephalides felis felis. The advantages of using cadavers rather than live cats and dogs for studies of this kind are noted and comparisons are made with the findings of other authors. The public health importance of the cat and dog flea in relation to human dermatitis is discussed.
Article
Fleas were collected from 60 dogs and 32 cats living in south west England. Ctenocephalides felis felis and Ctenocephalides canis were found on both dogs and cats, with a marked preponderance of C felis felis on both species. More female fleas than males were found. There was no apparent tendency for C canis to be found more often in rural areas than in suburban areas. The survey confirmed the polyxenous nature of both species of flea. The significance of this state is discussed in relation to flea control, and the author concludes that it is unlikely that all significant flea species could be completely eliminated from the environment of pet animals.
Article
Fleas were identified after being collected from 129 dogs and 38 cats of random breed, sex and age. All these animals, infested with fleas and admitted to the Clinic of Medicine of the Veterinary Faculty in Thessaloniki for routine procedures, were from different habitats and originated from various parts of northern Greece. Ctenocephalides canis was the most common species found on the dogs (71.3%). Conversely, its prevalence in the 14 cats was substantially lower (5.3%). Ctenocephalides felis was found on 97.4% of the cats and 40.3% of the dogs surveyed. Of the other flea species, with much lower prevalence, Pulex irritans (0.8%) and Xenopsylla cheopis (0.8%) were observed only on the dogs. Seventeen dogs (13.2%) and one cat (2.6%) had mixed infestations. Flea-associated dermatoses were observed in 26 dogs (20.2%) and four cats (10.5%). Flea-allergic dermatitis, with its typical manifestations, was seen in ten of the dogs (38.5%) with skin lesions. Three out of four flea-allergic cats presented miliary dermatitis and one symmetrical hypotrichosis.
Article
A survey was carried out to investigate the ectoparasite infestations of 100 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Hungary. The overall prevalence of flea and tick infestation was high (62 and 86% with the dominance of the anthropophil Pulex irritans and Ixodes ricinus), but the number of parasites was low to moderate. Felicola vulpis was not found in the present study, and the prevalence of Otodectes cynotis was only 2%. Based on prevalence (21%), mange lesion scores, and the negative correlation between lesion scores and condition of foxes, Sarcoptes infestation should be considered as the most important parasitosis of foxes in Hungary. Besides the ecological significance of these parasites, the high overall prevalence of mange and anthropophil flea and tick infestations of foxes and the appearance of these animals in the synanthropic environment as a result of the increasing population size, may result in the increasing incidence of flea, tick and accidental mite infestation of man and domestic animals, and may enhance the transmission rate of some vector-borne diseases.
Article
The carriage of Bartonella, Rickettsia felis and haemoplasma species was investigated in cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) collected from 121 cats and dogs in the United Kingdom. DNA extracted from fleas was analysed using genus and species-specific PCR and amplicons were characterised using DNA sequencing. Fifty percent of flea samples were PCR positive for at least one pathogen. Twenty one percent were positive for R. felis, 17% for Bartonella henselae, 40% for haemoplasma species and 20% were infected with more than one of the pathogen species studied. It is clear from the results in this study that companion cats and dogs are commonly infested with Ct. felis carrying bacterial pathogens of significance to human and animal health. These findings raise the possibility that Ct. felis found on dogs and cats are a potential source of infection with such pathogens for humans.