Epidemiological prediction of the distribution of insects of medical significance: comparative distributions of fleas and sucking lice on the rat host Rattus norvegicus in Yunnan Province, China

Authors

  • X. H. ZUO,

    1. Vector Laboratory, Institute of Pathogens and Vectors, Dali University, Dali, Yunnan, China
    2. Department of Pain Management, The Second People Hospital of Huai’an City, Huai’an, Jiangsu, China
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  • X. G. GUO

    Corresponding author
    1. Vector Laboratory, Institute of Pathogens and Vectors, Dali University, Dali, Yunnan, China
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Xian-Guo Guo, Vector Laboratory, Institute of Pathogens and Vectors, Dali University, Dali 671000, Yunnan, China. Tel.: +86 872 225 7102; Fax: +86 872 225 7106; E-mail: xianguoguo@yahoo.com

Abstract

Determining the distribution patterns of ectoparasites is important for predicting the spread of vector-borne diseases. A simple epidemiological model was used to compare the distributions of two different taxa of ectoparasitic insects, sucking lice (Insecta: Siphonaptera) and fleas (Insecta: Anoplura), on the same rodent host, Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout (Rodentia: Muridae), in Yunnan Province, China. Correlations between mean abundance and prevalence were determined. Both fleas and sucking lice were aggregated on their hosts, and sucking lice showed a higher degree of aggregation than fleas. The prevalence of both fleas and sucking lice increased with log-transformed mean abundance and a highly linear correlation and modelling efficiency of predicted prevalence against observed prevalence were obtained. The results demonstrate that prevalence can be explained simply by mean abundance.

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