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Open Vet J. 2022; 12(1): 17-22

Flea infestation on small wild mammals in Gharyan, Northwest Libya

Waleed Yousuf Mohammed Belgasm, Taher Shaibi, Salah Ghana.

Cited by 1 Articles

Background: Fleas play a major role as vectors for many pathogens that affect humans and livestock. Wild animals, especially wild rodents, are the most important hosts, acting as reservoir hosts for many flea species and pathogens.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify, seasonality and hosts of fleas that parasitize small wild mammals in Gharyan, north-western Libya.
Methods: Fleas were collected from seasonally infested hosts from summer 2017 to winter 2018.
Results: Three flea species were identified in this survey namely Pulex irritans, Xenopsylla cheopis, and Leptopsylla segnis. P. irritans was collected from porcupines, X. cheopis from hedgehogs and jerboas, whereas L. segnis from gundis. The highest flea prevalence was in porcupines (35.00%) and the lowest was in gundis (11.11%). The highest intensity was in porcupines (10.43 ± 4.37) and the lowest intensity was in jerboas (1.28 ± 0.24). The highest mean flea abundance was among porcupines of 3.65, whereas in hedgehogs, jerboas and gundis were less than 0.50 flea/host. P. irritans was collected during all seasons, while X. cheopis was collected during all seasons except winter, whereas L. segnis was collected only in spring.
Conclusions: The finding in this study has increased our awareness that small wild mammals can act as hosts for medically important flea species. All flea species that were collected have a great specialty in choosing their hosts. Flea intensity is affected by seasonal variations.

Key words: Fleas; Gharyan; Libya; Siphonaptera; Wild mammals

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