New records of bacteria in different species of fleas from France and Spain

Antonio Zurita, Linda Benkacimi, Khalid El Karkouri, Cristina Cutillas, Philippe Parola, Maureen Laroche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this study, we assessed the presence of vector-borne microorganisms in different species of fleas collected from different hosts in diverse areas of South-Western Europe by molecular methods. A total of 319 fleas belonging to eight different species was tested for the presence of eight microorganisms. Wolbachia spp. endosymbionts were detected in Ctenocephalides felis, Pulex irritans, Archaeopsylla erinacei and Ctenophthalmus baeticus boisseauorum specimens. Rickettsia felis, an emerging pathogen, was detected in C. felis, A. erinacei and Ct. b. boisseauorum. Rickettsia typhi, the agent of murine typhus was detected for the first time in A. erinacei and Mycobacterium spp. were detected for the first time in fleas (C. felis, P. irritans and A. erinacei). Lastly, five different species of Bartonella were detected in fleas’ DNA in this study, including a possible new bacterium belonging to this genus. With this study, we updated the knowledge of the flea-borne bacteria present in the South-West of Europe reinforcing the idea about the necessity to expand and increase the current knowledge on flea-borne pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101648
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bartonella spp.
  • Flea-borne diseases
  • Rickettsia felis
  • Rickettsia typhi
  • Siphonaptera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • General Veterinary
  • Infectious Diseases


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