Volume 76, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Tungiasis is a zoonotic ectoparasitosis that causes considerable morbidity in affected populations. The type of microenvironment that facilitates infestation of hosts by has not been investigated. In this study, we exposed 30 laboratory-raised Wistar rats, a suitable model for the infestation, at six different places characterized by different microenvironments in a hyperendemic fishing village in northeastern Brazil. During a period of two weeks, the animals were monitored and the number of embedded fleas was documented. The number of lesions varied considerably according to the microenvironment and was highest in a cage placed at the far end of a compound of a household affected by tungiasis. No penetration was observed inside houses. Results indicate that in this endemic area transmission of seems to occur mainly outdoors.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Heukelbach J, de Oliveira FA, Hesse G, Feldmeier H, 2001. Tungiasis: a neglected health problem of poor communities. Trop Med Int Health 6 : 267–272. [Google Scholar]
  2. Hesse P, 1899. Die Ausbreitung des Sandflohs in Afrika. Geogr Z (Hettner): 522–530. [Google Scholar]
  3. Heukelbach J, da Costa AL, Wilcke T, Mencke N, Feldmeier H, 2004. The animal reservoir of Tunga penetrans in severely affected communities of north-east Brazil. Med Vet Entomol 18 : 329–335. [Google Scholar]
  4. Cooper JE, 1967. An outbreak of Tunga penetrans in a pig herd. Vet Rec 80 : 365–366. [Google Scholar]
  5. Rietschel W, 1989. Observations of the sand flea (Tunga penetrans) in humans and dogs in French Guiana. Tierarztl Prax 17 : 189–193. [Google Scholar]
  6. Trentini M, Pampiglione S, Giannetto S, Finocchiario B, 2000. Observations about specimens of Tunga sp. (Siphonaptera, Tungidae) extracted from goats of Ecuador. Parassitologia 42 : 65. [Google Scholar]
  7. Wolffhügel K, 1910. Die Flöhe (Siphonaptera) der Haustiere. Z Infektionskr Haustiere 8 : 354–382. [Google Scholar]
  8. Bonnet G, 1867. Memoire sur la puce penétrante ou chique (Pulex pentrans). Arch Med Nav 8 : 19–55, 81–119. [Google Scholar]
  9. Hoeppli R, 1963. Early references to the occurrence of Tunga penetrans in tropical Africa. Acta Trop 20 : 143–153. [Google Scholar]
  10. Muehlen M, Feldmeier H, Wilcke T, Winter B, Heukelbach J, 2006. Identifying risk factor for tungiasis and heavy infestation in a resource-poor community in northeast Brazil. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 100 : 371–380. [Google Scholar]
  11. Muehlen M, Heukelbach J, Wilcke T, Winter B, Mehlhorn H, Feldmeier H, 2003. Investigations on the biology, epidemiology, pathology and control of Tunga penetrans in Brazil. II. Prevalence, parasite load and topographic distribution of lesions in the population of a traditional fishing village. Parasitol Res 90 : 449–455. [Google Scholar]
  12. Geigy R, 1953. Sandfloh-Probleme. Naturwissenschaften 40 : 40–42. [Google Scholar]
  13. Mazzini M, Fridmanis M, Obarrio H, Carbajal G, 1988. Tungiasis. Arch Argent Dermatol 38 : 403–408. [Google Scholar]
  14. Gordon R, 1941. The jigger flea. Lancet 2 : 47–49. [Google Scholar]
  15. Hicks E, 1930. The early stages of the jigger, Tunga penetrans. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 24 : 575–586. [Google Scholar]
  16. Heukelbach J, Wilcke T, Harms G, Feldmeier H, 2005. Seasonal variation of tungiasis in an endemic community. Am J Trop Med Hyg 72 : 145–149. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 21 Sep 2006
  • Accepted : 25 Oct 2006

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error