Epidemiological and epizootiological studies of Rickettsia felis and other Rickettsia spp. are very important, because their natural cycle has not yet been established completely. In total, 315 fleas (Siphonaptera) of 11 species of Ceratophyllidae, Hystrichopsyllidae and Leptopsyllidae families were tested for the presence of Rickettsia species and Coxiella burnetii with conventional and specific quantitative real-time PCR assays. Fleas were collected from five rodent hosts (Myodes glareolus, Apodemus flavicollis, Apodemus agrarius, Microtus subterraneus, Microtus arvalis) and three shrew species (Sorex araneus, Neomys fodiens, Crocidura suaveolens) captured in Eastern and Southern Slovakia. Overall, Rickettsia spp. was found in 10.8 % (34/315) of the tested fleas of Ctenophthalmus agyrtes, Ctenophthalmus solutus, Ctenophthalmus uncinatus and Nosopsyllus fasciatus species. Infected fleas were coming from A. flavicollis, A. agrarius, and M. glareolus captured in Eastern Slovakia. C. burnetii was not found in any fleas. R. felis, Rickettsia helvetica, unidentified Rickettsia, and rickettsial endosymbionts were identified in fleas infesting small mammals in the Košice region, Eastern Slovakia. This study is the first report of R. felis infection in C. solutus male flea collected from A. agrarius in Slovakia.
- Flea Infestations
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't