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Fleas of small mammals on Reunion Island: diversity, distribution and epidemiological consequences

Guernier, Vanina, Lagadec, Erwan, LeMinter, Gildas, Licciardi, Severine, Balleydier, Elsa, Pagès, Frederic, Laudisoit, Anne, Dellagi, Koussay and Tortosa, Pablo 2014, Fleas of small mammals on Reunion Island: diversity, distribution and epidemiological consequences, PLoS neglected tropical diseases, vol. 8, no. 9, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003129.

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Title Fleas of small mammals on Reunion Island: diversity, distribution and epidemiological consequences
Author(s) Guernier, VaninaORCID iD for Guernier, Vanina orcid.org/0000-0002-0960-3874
Lagadec, Erwan
LeMinter, Gildas
Licciardi, Severine
Balleydier, Elsa
Pagès, Frederic
Laudisoit, Anne
Dellagi, Koussay
Tortosa, Pablo
Journal name PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Volume number 8
Issue number 9
Article ID e3129
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francisco, Calif.
Publication date 2014-09
ISSN 1935-2727
1935-2735
Keyword(s) Animals
Flea Infestations
Mice
Molecular Sequence Data
Rats
Reunion
Rodent Diseases
Seasons
Siphonaptera
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Infectious Diseases
Parasitology
Tropical Medicine
XENOPSYLLA-BRASILIENSIS
MURINE TYPHUS
PLAGUE VECTOR
MADAGASCAR
PHYLOGENY
RESISTANCE
RODENTS
UPDATE
SPP.
Summary The diversity and geographical distribution of fleas parasitizing small mammals have been poorly investigated on Indian Ocean islands with the exception of Madagascar where endemic plague has stimulated extensive research on these arthropod vectors. In the context of an emerging flea-borne murine typhus outbreak that occurred recently in Reunion Island, we explored fleas' diversity, distribution and host specificity on Reunion Island. Small mammal hosts belonging to five introduced species were trapped from November 2012 to November 2013 along two altitudinal transects, one on the windward eastern and one on the leeward western sides of the island. A total of 960 animals were trapped, and 286 fleas were morphologically and molecularly identified. Four species were reported: (i) two cosmopolitan Xenopsylla species which appeared by far as the prominent species, X. cheopis and X. brasiliensis; (ii) fewer fleas belonging to Echidnophaga gallinacea and Leptopsylla segnis. Rattus rattus was found to be the most abundant host species in our sample, and also the most parasitized host, predominantly by X. cheopis. A marked decrease in flea abundance was observed during the cool-dry season, which indicates seasonal fluctuation in infestation. Importantly, our data reveal that flea abundance was strongly biased on the island, with 81% of all collected fleas coming from the western dry side and no Xenopsylla flea collected on almost four hundred rodents trapped along the windward humid eastern side. The possible consequences of this sharp spatio-temporal pattern are discussed in terms of flea-borne disease risks in Reunion Island, particularly with regard to plague and the currently emerging murine typhus outbreak.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003129
Field of Research 06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110651

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.