• Users Online: 635
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-21

A review of public health important fleas (Insecta, Siphonaptera) and flea-borne diseases in India

1 ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre Field Station, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
P Philip Samuel
ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre, Field Station, Madurai, Department of Health Research, No.4, Sarojini Street, Chinnachokkikulam, Madurai-625002, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.328977

Rights and Permissions

Fleas (Insecta, Siphonaptera) are important vectors of plague and murine typhus in many parts of the world. Currently, about 2700 flea species were described in the world. The most common vector flea Xenopsylla cheopis is found throughout India, but X. astia, and X. brasiliensis are found less and limited in distribution associated with the domestic rats such as Rattus rattus, R. norvegicus, Mus musculus, and Bandicota bengalensis. Bubonic plague is a major flea-borne disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis, transmitted from rats to humans via the rodent flea, X. cheopis. A major outbreak of plague and high mortality occurred in India. After 1966 with the 3 decadal intervals, plague cases occurred only during the year 1994 reported in 5 different states (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi and subsequently plague cases occurred during 2002 and 2004 after the one-decade interval in Himachal Pradesh (2002). Another outbreak of bubonic plague was reported in Dangud village, Barkhot tehsil, Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand during October 2004. Ctenocephalides fleas are common in cats and dogs, which are the main vectors of bacteria rickettsiae, such as Rickettsia typhi, R. felis, R. conorii, and Bartonella henselae. Molecular and serological evidence also confirms the presence of R. typhi, R. conorii R. felis and B. henselae pathogens in cats and other fleas in India. Flea bites and flea-borne dermatitis are common in men and pet animals. Because of the re-emergence of the plague, updated information on fleas and flea-borne diseases are essential to control the flea vectors and flea-borne diseases in India. Hence, this comprehensive review updates the available information on fleas and fleas transmitted diseases in India.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded163    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal