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Fleas (Siphonaptera) of domestic and wild animals in extreme northeastern Algeria: first inventory, hosts, and medical and veterinary importance

Mehdi Boucheikhchoukh, Noureddine Mechouk, Hamza Leulmi, Atef Aouadi, Ahmed Benakhla
Published: 5 April 2022

Abstract: Fleas are an important member of the North African entomofauna. An understanding of the risks of flea-borne diseases to public and veterinary health can be gained with surveys of their abundance, distribution, and hosts. The aims of this study were to make an initial assessment of flea (Siphonaptera) species collected from a selected number of mammalian hosts in Algeria and debate their medical and veterinary importance. To do so, an entomological survey was conducted on several animal species (goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, hedgehogs, and mongooses) in six localities of El Tarf region located in extreme northeastern Algeria. During the survey, flea specimens were collected from hosts, stored in alcohol, and identified using a taxonomic key. More than 1,200 specimens were collected and identified; including four species: Ctenocephalides felis, Ctenocephalides canis, Pulex irritans, and Archaeopsylla erinacei (s.l.). Goats and dogs were the most infested animals, followed by cats and hedgehogs. Ctenocephalides felis was the most prevalent flea among all infested animals, with 631 collected specimens, followed by Pulex irritans with 433 samples. Overall, this study is an initial assessment of flea species recovered from selected common mammals in northeastern Algeria.
Keywords: survey / extreme / animals / northeastern Algeria / Ctenocephalides / flea / felis / infested / Pulex

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