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General Aspects

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Origin and Distribution

Ctenocephalides felis and Ctenocephalides canis are the two most important flea species of companion animals worldwide. Their pattern of distribution as found by different working groups is gathered into the following tables (Table 3A, Table 3B).

Table 3A: Distribution pattern of the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) taking into consideration the host animal, the geographical appearance and the rate of infestation (where mentioned)

Location

Host Animal

Infestation Rate

Reference

Argentina

dog

most prevalent

Lombarddero and Santa-Cruz, 1986

Australia,Queensland

dog

most prevalent

Cornack and O'Rourke, 1991

Austria

dog

81.4% prevalence

Supperrer and Hinaidy, 1986

Austria

mixed infestation

cat

96.3% prevalence

Supperrer and Hinaidy, 1986

Czechoslovakia

dog

0.0% pevalence

Zajicek, 1987

Denmark

dog

most prevalent

Kristensen and Kieffer, 1978;

Kristensen et al., 1978

Denmark

dog

54.3% prevalence

Haarløv and Kristensen, 1977

Denmark

dog

64.7% prevalence

Kristensen et al., 1978

Denmark

cat

100% prevalence

Haarløv and Kristensen, 1977

Denmark

mixed infestation

cat

95.3% prevalence

Kristensen et al., 1978

Egypt

dog

most prevalent

Amin, 1966

France

dog

most prevalent

Bourdeau and Blumenstein, 1995

Germany

dog

most prevalent

Liebisch et al., 1985;

Müller and Kutschmann, 1985

Germany (West)

dog

59.9% prevalence

Liebisch et al., 1985

Germany (East)

dog

45.8% prevalence

Müller and Kutschmann, 1985

Germany

dog

1.2% prevalence

Kalvelage and Münster, 1991

Germany

cat

11.1% prevalence

Kalvelage and Münster, 1991

Germany (West)

mixed infestation

cat

100% prevalence

Liebisch et al., 1985

Great Britain

dog

17.1% prevalence

Beresford-Jones, 1981

Great Britain

cat

100% prevalence

Beresford-Jones, 1974

Great Britain

cat

100% prevalence

Beresford-Jones, 1981

Ireland

dog

4% prevalence

Baker and Hatch, 1972;

Baker and Mulcahy, 1986

Puerto Rica

dog

most prevalent

Fox, 1952

Poland

dog(strays)

only a few specimen found on dogs

Piotrowski and Polomska, 1975

South Africa, Western Cape

dog

most common

Briggs, 1986

South Africa, Transvaal

dog

most common

Horak, 1982

Sweden

dog

0.0% prevalence

Persson, 1973

United Kingdom

dog

most prevalent

Beresford-Jones, 1981;

Chesney, 1995;

Coward, 1991;

Geary, 1977

United Kingdom, London

dog

most prevalent

Beresford-Jones, 1981

United Kingdom

dog

15.4% prevalence

Beresford-Jones, 1974

USA, southeastern Wisconsin

dog and cat

most prevalent

Amin, 1976

USA, Indiana

dog and cat

most prevalent

Dryden, 1988

USA, Virginia

dog and cat

100% prevalence

Painter and Echerlin, 1985

USA, North-Central Florida

dog

92.4% prevalence

Harman et al., 1987

USA, North-Central Florida

cat

99.8% prevalence

Harman et al., 1987

   

Table 3B: Distribution pattern of the dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) taking into consideration the host animal, the geographical appearance and the rate of infestation (where mentioned)

Location

Host Animal

Infection Rate

Reference

Austria

dog

most prevalent

Ressl, 1963

Austria

dog

18.6% prevalence

Supperer and Hinaidy, 1986

Austria

mixed infestations

cat

3.7% prevalence

Supperer and Hinaidy, 1986

Czechoslovakia

dog

2.0% prevalence

Zajicek, 1987

Denmark

dog

42.1% prevalence

Haarløv and Kristensen, 1977

Denmark

dog

29.8% prevalence

Kristensen et al., 1978

Denmark

with infestations

cat

5.3% prevalence

Kristensen et al., 1978

Germany (West)

dog

42.9% prevalence

Liebisch et al., 1985

Germany (East)

dog

39.6% prevalence

Müller and Kutschmann, 1985

Germany

dog

0.6% prevalence

Kalvelage and Münster, 1991

Germany (West)

mixed infestations

cat

5.3% prevalence

Liebisch et al., 1985

Great Britain

dog

6.2% prevalence

Beresford-Jones, 1974

Great Britain

dog

2.6% prevalence

Beresford-Jones, 1981

Great Britain (rural)

dog

most prevalent 

Edwards, 1968

Ireland

dog

most common

Baker and Hatch, 1972

Baker and Mulcahy, 1986

Ireland, Dublin

dog

most prevalent

Baker and Hatch, 1972;

Ireland

dog

86% prevalence

Baker and Hatch, 1972;

Baker and Mulcahy, 1986

New Zealand

dog

most prevalent

Guzman, 1984

New Zealand

dog

most prevalent

Guzman, 1984

Poland

dog (strays)

40% prevalence

Piotrowski and Polomska, 1975

Sweden

dog

0.3% prevalence

Persson, 1973

USA, Indiana

dog

18% prevalence

Dryden, 1988

   

Further information

  • Amin OM: The fleas (Siphonaptera) of Egypt: distribution and seasonal dynamics of fleas infesting dogs in the Nile valley and delta. J Med Entomol. 1966, 3, 293-8
  • Amin OM: Host associations and seasonal occurrence of fleas from southeastern Wisconsin mammals, with observations on morphologic variations. J Med Entomol. 1976, 13, 179-92
  • Baker KP, Hatch C: The species of fleas found on Dublin dogs. Vet Rec. 1972, 91, 151-2
  • Baker KP, Mulcahy R: Fleas on hedgehogs and dogs in the Dublin area. Vet Rec. 1986, 119, 16-7
  • Beresford-Jones WP: The fleas Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché, 1833), Ctenocephalides canis (Curtis, 1826), and the mite Cheyletiella (Canestrini, 1886) in the dog and cat: their transmissibility to humans. In: Soulsby EJL (ed.): Parasitic zoonoses, clinical and experimental studies. 1974, Academic Press, London, pp 383-90
  • Beresford-Jones WP: Prevalence of fleas on dogs and cats in an area of central London. J Small Anim Pract. 1981, 22, 27-9
  • Bourdeau P, Blumenstein P: Flea infestation and Ctenocephalides in the dog and cat; parasitological, biological and immunological aspects in the west of France. Ann Congr Europ Soc Vet Dermat., Barcelona (Abstr.), 1995, pp 1-6
  • Briggs OM: Flea control on pets in Southern Africa. J South Afr Vet Assoc. 1986, 57, 43-7
  • Chesney CJ: Species of flea found on cats and dogs in south west England: further evidence of their polyxenous state and implications for flea control. Vet Rec. 1995, 136, 356-8
  • Cornack KM, O’Rourke PK: Parasites of sheep dogs in the Charleville district, Queensland. Aust Vet J. 1991, 68, 149
  • Coward PS: Fleas in southern England. Vet Rec. 1991, 129, 272
  • Dryden MW: Evaluation of certain parameters in the bionomics of Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché 1835). 1988, MS Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette
  • Edwards FB: Fleas. Vet Rec. 1968, 85, 665
  • Fox I: Notes on the cat flea in Puerto Rico. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1952, 2, 337-42
  • Geary MR: Ectoparasite survey. Brit Vet Dermat Study Group Newsletter. 1977, 2, 2-3
  • Guzman RF: A survey of cats and dogs for fleas: with particular reference to their role as intermediate hosts of Dipylidium caninum. NZ Vet J. 1984, 32, 71-3
  • Haarløv N, Kristensen S: [Contributions to the dermatology of dog and cat. 3. Fleas of dogs and cats in Denmark.] Tierärztl Prax. 1977, 5, 507-11 [in German]
  • Harman DA, Halliwell RE, Greiner EC: Flea species from dogs and cats in North-Central Florida. Vet Parasitol. 1987, 23, 135-40
  • Horak IG: Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XIV. The seasonal prevalence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Ctenocephalides spp. on kennelled dogs in Pretoria North. Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 1982, 49, 63-8
  • Kalvelage H, Münster M: [Ctenocephalides canis and Ctenocephalides felis infestation in dogs and cats. Biology of the agent, epizootiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and methods of control.] Tierärztl Praxis. 1991, 19, 200-6 [in German]
  • Kristensen S, Haarløv N, Mourier H: A study of skin diseases in dogs and cats. IV. Patterns of flea infestation in dogs and cats in Denmark. Nord Vet Med. 1978, 30, 401-13
  • Kristensen S, Kieffer M: A study of skin diseases in dogs and cats. V. The intradermal test in the diagnosis of flea allergy in dogs and cats. Nord Vet Med. 1978, 30, 414-23
  • Liebisch A, Brandes R, Hoppenstedt K: [Tick and flea infections of dogs and cats in the German Federal Republic.] Prakt Tierarzt. 1985, 66, 817-24 [in German]
  • Lombarddero OJ, Santa-Cruz AM: Parasites of stray dogs in the city of Corrientes (Argentina). Changes over a 25 year-period. Vet Argent. 1986, 3, 888-92
  • Müller J, Kutschmann K: [Records of fleas (Siphonaptera) on pets and small zoo animals.] Angew Parasitol. 1985, 26, 197-203 [in German]
  • Painter HF, Echerlin RP: The status of the dog flea. Va J Sci. 1985, 36, 114
  • Persson L: [Ectoparasites of dogs and cats.] Svensk Veterinartidn. 1973, 25, 254-60 [in Swedish]
  • Piotrowski F, Polomska J: Ectoparasites of the dog (Canis familiaris L.) in Gdansk. Wiad Parazytol. 1975, 21, 441-51
  • Ressl F: [The Siphonaptera fauna of the administrative district Scheibbs (Lower Austia).] Z Parasitenkd. 1963, 23, 470-90 [in German]
  • Supperer R, Hinaidy HK: [Parasitic infections of dogs and cats in Austria.] Dtsch Tierärztl Wochenschr. 1986, 93, 383-86 [in German]
  • Zajicek D: Laboratory diagnosis of parasites in the Czech Socialist Republic in the period 1976-1986. IV. Dogs, cats. Veterinarstvi. 1987, 37, 549-50

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