Volume 10, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Radovsky, a parasitic mite commonly taken from nests of meadow mice, was tested in the laboratory on the hypothesis that it might play a role in the maintenance of plague in nature. Techniques for forced feeding and external decontamination of the mites were developed. Mites fed well on healthy suckling mice and on heparinized blood from healthy mice, but fed poorly on suckling mice suffering a terminal bacteremia with or on plague-bacteremic blood. Viable were demonstrated to survive in the mites up to 23 but not to 24 hours following an infective blood meal. Bacterial culture of triturated mite suspensions proved less reliable in demonstrating the presence of viable than did animal inoculation. Mites which had fed on an infectious blood source failed to transmit the infection by feeding upon suckling laboratory mice.

Results of the experiments do not support the hypothesis that the mite may be of significance in the maintenance of plague in nature.


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