Journal of Applied and Natural Science 5 (2): 288-293 (2013)
Biodiversity of rodent fleas in plague endemic areas of India
M. Shelly1,2*, S. Biswas1, M. S. Reddy2 and Sohan Lal1
1NCDC, NTI Campus, 8 Bellary Road, Bangalore-560003, INDIA
2Department of Zoology, Bangalore University, Bangalore-560056, INDIA
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract : Rodent fleas have been considered as the main vector for plague transmission in the rodent population and human plague outbreak usually occur due to the close association of infected rodent fleas with the human being. A total of 910 fleas were retrieved from the 2128 rodents collected from the different areas like Kolar, Palamner, Pune, Surat, Rohru and Chennai. Mainly two types of rodent fleas i.e. Xenopsyalla astia and X. cheopis were found in these areas except the Dodra Kawar area of H.P. state. In Dodra Kawar area Neopsylla kawar species were found and it was very sensitive to the temperature variation. Dodra kawar area usually remains under snow for about nine months and even in the rest of period the maximum temperature does not go more than 20oC. The distribution of X. astia and X. cheopis were found uneven. In surat of Gujarat state X. cheopis was predominantly high, whereas in rest of the area X. astia were found more. In Chennai the main species found was X. astia only. The female percent of rodent flea may be considered as a good indicator for the fast propagation of rodent flea. The breading season for the fleas mostly depends on the climatic condition like temperature below 22oC-25oC, humidity more than 70% even if the outside temperature is more still the shady area the favorable and do help in the survival of fleas. The rapid urbanization and mass use of pesticide in agriculture sector has got significant impact on the rodent flea population and development of resistance to pesticides.
Keywords : Biodiversity, Flea index, Plague, Rodent fleas, Xenopsylla spp.