The incidence of murine typhus declined sharply in the United States after the institution of DDT for control of rat fleas
in 1945 (5), but it now appears to be on the rise, especially in southern Texas and California (2,7,8).
Feeding behaviour of the larval rat flea
Nosopsyllus fasciatus (Bosc.
Only 58 percent of tropical rat fleas
are capable of spreading disease after feeding on infected animals.
The inverse association of vegetation density with seropositivity has been described for plague in Uganda, a disease that is also transmitted by the rat flea
(X cheopsis) (10).
felis, etiologic agents of murine typhus and fleaborne spotted fever, respectively, were detected in Oriental rat fleas
(Xenopsylla cheopis) collected from rodents and shrews in Java, Indonesia.
The oriental rat flea
(Xenopsylla cheopis) was demonstrated to be a competent vector of an unidentified Bartonella species that infected bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) (23), and the vole ear mite (Trombicula microti) was proposed as a vector of B.
The classiccycle of Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus, involves rats and the rat flea
, Xenopsylla cheopis, the main vector (2).
In this island, the main reservoir of Yersinia pestis is the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the main vector the rat flea
(Xenopsylla cheopis) (3).
felis could be implicated in murine typhus-compatible cases detected in southwest Spain (14), especially since the oriental rat flea
, Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild, 1903), is absent from this area.
They are listed as carpenter ants, domestic flies (house fly, flesh fly, blow fly, moth fly, phorid fly, fruit fly, etc), biting flies (midges, eye gnats, horse fly, deer fly, black fly, stable fly), mosquitoes (Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, etc), rats and mice, cockroaches (American, Oriental, German and brown banded), bed bugs, ticks and mites, rat fleas
and other organisms.
You wonder how a bacillus transmitted by rat fleas
brought on such an ecological reign of terror, effectively killing one European in three, wiping out entire towns and villages, transforming the foundation of medieval society and restructuring the fabric of European civilization.
According to scientists working at Public Health England in Porton Down, the plague was a pneumonic plague instead of the bubonic plague with infection spreading from human to human, rather than by rat fleas