Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2018-01-17
Page range: 144–150
Abstract views: 60
PDF downloaded: 2

Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) with public health relevance in domestic pigs (Artiodactyla: Suidae) from Argentina 

Centro de Investigaciones y Transferencia del Noroeste de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, CIT NOBA (CONICET-UNNOBA), Pergamino, Argentina CONICET
Centro de Estudios Parasitológicos y de Vectores, CEPAVE (CONICET-UNLP), La Plata, Argentina.
Centro de Investigaciones y Transferencia del Noroeste de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, CIT NOBA (CONICET-UNNOBA), Pergamino, Argentina


The presence of fleas can have a great negative impact on the productivity and well-being of the animals, and can contribute towards propagation of causative pathogens of important diseases in animals and humans. Fleas and domestic pigs (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758) are a known association. However, knowledge about fleas on pigs in Argentina is scarce. In this country, swine farming has become one of the main components of livestock production. This activity is primarily carried out by smallholder farmers, involving a potential risk to humans of acquiring pathogens. Our study was developed in Buenos Aires province, Argentina, in a region where there is strong swine livestock activity. We provide the first record for Argentina of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché, 1835) and Pulex irritans Linnaeus, 1758 in domestic pigs, and the first data for the country of parasitological indexes of fleas in pigs. Ctenocephalides felis felis and P. irritans cause discomfort, nuisance, allergic reactions, and anaemia, and are known as vectors of several pathogens with importance for public health. The high prevalence and abundance of C. felis felis and P. irritans observed in pigs from Azul, Buenos Aires, are significant, and the absence of them in other studied localities could correspond to environmental characteristics. This paper expands the knowledge about the flea diversity associated with S. scrofa in Argentina and contributes to the knowledge of the ecology and biology of two cosmopolitan fleas and with public health relevance. This information is important for future epidemiological studies, as well as to establish prevention and control measures where appropriate.



  1. Beaucournu, J.C. & Menier, K. (1998) Le genre Ctenocephalides Stiles et Collins, 1930 (Siphonaptera, Pulicidae). Parasite, 5, 3–16.

    Beaucournu, J.C. & Pascal, M. (1998) Origine biogéographique de Nosopsyllus fasciatus (Bosc, 1800) (Siphonaptera-Ceratophyllidae) et observations sur son hote primitif. Biogeographica, 74 (3), 125–132.

    Bitam, I., Dittmar, K., Parola, P., Whiting, M.F. & Raoult, D. (2010) Fleas and flea-borne diseases. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 14, 667–676.

    Brown, L.D. & Macaluso, K.R. (2016) Rickettsia felis, an emerging flea-borne rickettsiosis. Current Tropical Medicine Reports, 3, 27–39.

    Brunori, C. (2013) Producción de cerdos en Argentina: situación, oportunidades, desafíos. Available from: (accessed 2 July 2003)

    Bush, A.O., Lafferty, K.D., Lotz, J.M. & Shostak, A.W. (1997) Parasitology meets ecology on its own terms. Margolis et al. revised. Journal of Parasitology, 83 (4), 575–583.

    Cooper, S.M., Scott, H.M., de la Garza, G.R., Deck, A.L. & Cathey, J.C. (2010) Distribution and interspecies contact of feral swine and cattle on rangeland in south Texas: Implications for disease transmission. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 46, 152–164.

    Durden, L.A., Judy, T.N., Martin, J.E. & Spedding, L.S. (2005) Fleas parasitizing domestic dogs in Georgia, USA: species composition and seasonal abundance. Veterinary Parasitology, 130, 157–162.

    Graves, H.B. (1984) Behavior and ecology of wild and feral swine (Sus scrofa). Journal of Animal Science, 58, 482–492.

    Jones, B.A., Grace, D., Kock, R., Alonso, S., Rushton, J., Said, M., McKeever, D., Mutua, F., Young, J., McDermott, J. & Pfeiffer, D.U. (2013) Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (21), 8399–8404.

    Krasnov, B.R. (2008) Functional and Evolutionary Ecology of Fleas: A model for ecological parasitology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 593 pp.

    Krasnov, B.R., Poulin, R. & Morand, S. (2006) Patterns of macroparasite diversity in small mammals. In: Morand, S., Krasnov, B.R. & Poulin, R. (Eds.), Micromammals and Macroparasites. From Evolutionary Ecology to Management. Springer, Tokyo, pp. 198–231.

    Lareschi, M., Sanchez, J. & Autino, A. (2016) A review of the fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) from Argentina. Zootaxa, 4103 (3), 239–258.

    Linardi, P.M. & Guimarães, L.R. (2000) Sifonápteros do Brasil. Ed. Mzusp, FAPESP, São Paulo, 291 pp.

    Lovera, R., Fernández, M.S. & Cavia, R. (2015) Wild small mammals in intensive milk cattle and swine production systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 202, 251–259.

    Marshall, A.G. (1981) The ecology of ectoparasitic insects. Academic Press, New York, 459 pp.

    Merino, L.M. & Carpinetti, B.N. (2003) Feral pig Sus scrofa populations estimates in Bahía Samborombón Conservation Area, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Mastozoología Neotropical, 10, 269–275.

    Mullen, G. & Durden, L. (2009) Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 2nd Edition. Academic Press/Elsevier Science, San Diego, 637 pp.

    Nava, S., Perez-Martinez, L., Venzal, J.M., Portillo, A., Santibá-ez, S. & Oteo, J.A. (2008) Rickettsia felis in Ctenocephalides felis from Argentina. Vector-Borne Zoonotic Diseases, 8, 465–466.

    Scioscia, N.P., Orozco, M., Cirignoli, S., Martínez Vivot, M., Arandiaran, S., Ribicich, M., Samartino, L., Llorente, P., Cuervo, P., Mastropaolo, M. & Denegri, G.M. (2011) Monitoreo sanitario de chancho cimarrón (Sus scrofa), ciervo axis (Axis axis) y búfalo (Bubalus bubalis) en la Reserva Natural Iberá, Corrientes. Libro de resúmenes, 24 Jornadas Argentinas de Mastozoología, La Plata, Argentina, 159,

    Traub, R. (1980) The zoogeography and evolution of some fleas, lice and mammals. In: Traub, R. & Starke, H. (Eds.), Fleas. Proceedings of the International Conference on Fleas. Ashton Wold, Peterborough, Rotterdam, Balkema, pp. 93–172.

    Whiting M.F., Whiting, A.S., Hastriter, M.W. & Dittmar, K. (2008) A molecular phylogeny of fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera): origins and host associations. Cladistics, 24, 1–31.