Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Print version ISSN 0074-0276
LINARDI, Pedro Marcos; BOTELHO, José Ramiro and CUNHA, Horácio Capistrano. Ectoparasites in rodents of the urban region of Belo Horizonte, MG: III. Fleas, anoplura and acari indices in Rattus norvegicus norvegicus. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1985, vol.80, n.3, pp. 277-284. ISSN 0074-0276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02761985000300003.
The total and specific indices of fleas, lice and mites were determined for ectoparasites on Rattus norvegicus norvegicus capture in urban areas of Belo Horizonte, Minas state, Brazil, from June 1980 to September 1982. In view of the limiting or critical values attributed to flea indices above all the [quot ]cheopis[quot ] index, proposed by several authors as a complementary measure for bubonic plague surveillance, the community of Belo Horizonte would have been exposed to this infection. The annual total indices ranged from 0.3 to 2.4 and the prevalent flea was Xenopsylla cheopis (99.2%), with the highest indices coinciding with the late dry-cool season. On two occasions, in this period, the community would have remained highly exposed to infection, since the index-limits were superseded: 8.8 (October 1980) and 6.2 (September 1982). It is suggested that preventive measures, such as protection against rat insecticide treatment may be efficiently applied in the late dry-cool season, or previous to the rainy season, before the elimination of rats. Reports on indices of lice and mites are important as they may establish index-limits for certain infections exclusive to rodents.