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Volume 13, Number 5—May 2007

Research

Plague and the Human Flea, Tanzania

Anne Laudisoit*†Comments to Author , Herwig Leirs*‡, Rhodes H. Makundi§, Stefan Van Dongen*, Stephen Davis*, Simon Neerinckx*¶, Jozef Deckers¶, and Roland Libois†
Author affiliations: *University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; †University of Liège, Liège (Sart Tilman), Belgium; ‡University of Aarhus, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark; §Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania; ¶Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium;

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Table 2

Distribution of flea species within villages and houses, Lushoto District, Tanzania

Domestic flea species Common hosts in Tanzania Flea species composition, %
Houses with given flea species, %
Low* High† Low* High†
Pulex irritans
Humans
61.5
75.2
28.8
65.4
Ctenocephalides felis, 
C. canis
Cats, dogs, other animals
8.8
5.8
6.8
10.7
Echidnophaga gallinacea
Domestic fowl, Rattus rattus
19.6
13.7
12.2
15.7
Tunga penetrans
Humans, dogs, goats
2.0
2.8
2.0
6.9
Xenopsylla brasiliensis Rattus rattus, Mastomys natalensis 6.8 2.1 4.1 5.0

*Villages designated as low plague frequency.
†Villages designated as high plague frequency.

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