Ectoparasite of Rodents Collected from International Seaport, Gujarat (India) with Special Reference to Plague & Scrub Typhus

Abhay Kumar Sharma, Kaushal Kumar, T G Thomas, S K Singh


Background: Rodents are well established at port areas and their arthropod ectoparasite can be vectors of many diseases. Ships play an important role in spreading disease by transporting infected vectors.

Objective: In view of the seriousness of the problem the present study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of rodent–ectoparasite association at KPT, Kandla (India).

Results: Four species of rodents: Tatera indica (Hardwicke), Bandicota indica (Bechstein), Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout), Rattus rattus (Linnaeus) were trapped from the port area. Rodent Infestation rate was 84.9 per cent. Lice (46.5%) were the predominant ectoparasites retrieved from the rodents followed by mites and fleas. The rodent ectoparasite index was 13.6 per rat. A total of 32 vector larval trombiculid chigger mite (Leptotrombidium deliense, Walch) were collected from various species of rats. Chigger infestation rate was found to be 8.0 per rat. A total of 96% chigger mites were retrieved from R. norvagicus trapped from canteen area. A total 234 fleas were retrieved giving an overall flea index of 2.5 per rat. The flea species collected from rodents were Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild) and X. astia (Rothschild). Serological & bacteriological examination of rodent samples showed no Orentia and plague bacilli activity.

Conclusion: Result of the study suggests routine surveillance for rodent and their arthropods ectoparasite to apply appropriate control measure to prevent the spreading of rodent borne diseases.


Kandla Port, Leptotrombidium deliense, Rattus rattus, Scrub Typhus, Tatera indica, Xenopsylla cheopis

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