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.


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

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