A survey of Pulex irritans (Linnaeus 1758, Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) infestation in sheep and residential areas in Kurdistan Province, Iran

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Urmia University

2 Shahid Chamran University


Fleas are the most common and important external parasites worldwide and also serves as vectors of various pathogens for humans and animals. The study aimed to determine the prevalence of Pulex irritants in sheep herds and residential areas of villages in Kurdsitan Province, Iran. A total of 2,900 sheep were randomly selected from 48 flocks and 630 residential areas of 18 villages from November 2011 to October 2012. The collected fleas were identified by key fleas. Results revealed that 259 (8.93%) sheep from 31 flocks (65.51%) and 31 (4.92%) residential areas were infested with P. irritants. Of 1323 P. irritants, 503/1323 (38.02%) and 820/1323 (61.98%) were male and female, respectively. Of these, 950 (72%) were from animals and 373 (28%) were from residential areas. The highest infection rate was found in age group less than one year (30.93%, 29/92). The body distribution of all collected flea was found to be from back part of the body (100%). Seasonal distribution of P. irritants in examined animals had significant difference. Geographical distribution of P. irritants indicated that the highest infection rate was found in Marab region (6.03%). The highest flea infestation was also found in summer (41.8%) with a total number of 450 fleas out of 1323 (34.01%). From the results of this study, it was concluded that P. irritants was a prevalent flea in sheep and residential areas in the region and may serve as an important vector for pathogenic agents.


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