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      Pathogen carriage by the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) in the United Kingdom.

      Veterinary Microbiology

      Animals, Bartonella, isolation & purification, pathogenicity, Bartonella Infections, epidemiology, transmission, veterinary, Cat Diseases, microbiology, parasitology, Cats, DNA, Bacterial, analysis, Disease Reservoirs, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Ectoparasitic Infestations, Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections, Great Britain, Humans, Insect Vectors, Mycoplasma, Mycoplasma Infections, Polymerase Chain Reaction, methods, Prevalence, Rickettsia Infections, Rickettsia felis, Siphonaptera

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          Abstract

          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.

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          Journal
          15327793
          10.1016/j.vetmic.2004.06.013

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