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Blood-feeding of Tunga penetrans males.
Med Vet Entomol. 2004 Dec; 18(4):439-41.MV

Abstract

The jigger Tunga penetrans (Linnaeus, 1758: type-species of the family Tungidae) is the smallest known species of flea (Siphonaptera), causing serious ectoparasitosis of humans and domestic animals. The adult female Tunga lodges in the epidermis of the mammalian host, grows by neosomy, becomes gravid and expels eggs. Relatively little is known about the free-living male Tunga adults. Among impoverished communities of Fortaleza in north-east Brazil, we observed T. penetrans males as well as females penetrating the skin of human hosts. After penetrating the epidermis for a few hours, evidently for capillary feeding from the dermis, males withdrew their mouthparts and crawled away, whereas the females remained completely embedded, hypertrophying to become gravid, eventually dying in situ after oviposition. Caged rats were placed on the sandy soil and examined periodically for Tunga infestation. On five rats we obtained 140 females embedded and we detected 75 males biting, with rat erythrocytes observed in the proventriculus and midgut of all five males dissected and examined microscopically. This confirms that T. penetrans males are hamatophagous ectoparasites of mammals.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology of Infection, Institute for Infection Medicine, Charité Medical School, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15642011

Citation

Witt, L H., et al. "Blood-feeding of Tunga Penetrans Males." Medical and Veterinary Entomology, vol. 18, no. 4, 2004, pp. 439-41.
Witt LH, Linardi PM, Meckes O, et al. Blood-feeding of Tunga penetrans males. Med Vet Entomol. 2004;18(4):439-41.
Witt, L. H., Linardi, P. M., Meckes, O., Schwalfenberg, S., Ribeiro, R. A., Feldmeier, H., & Heukelbach, J. (2004). Blood-feeding of Tunga penetrans males. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 18(4), 439-41.
Witt LH, et al. Blood-feeding of Tunga Penetrans Males. Med Vet Entomol. 2004;18(4):439-41. PubMed PMID: 15642011.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Blood-feeding of Tunga penetrans males. AU - Witt,L H, AU - Linardi,P M, AU - Meckes,O, AU - Schwalfenberg,S, AU - Ribeiro,R A, AU - Feldmeier,H, AU - Heukelbach,J, PY - 2005/1/12/pubmed PY - 2005/2/24/medline PY - 2005/1/12/entrez SP - 439 EP - 41 JF - Medical and veterinary entomology JO - Med Vet Entomol VL - 18 IS - 4 N2 - The jigger Tunga penetrans (Linnaeus, 1758: type-species of the family Tungidae) is the smallest known species of flea (Siphonaptera), causing serious ectoparasitosis of humans and domestic animals. The adult female Tunga lodges in the epidermis of the mammalian host, grows by neosomy, becomes gravid and expels eggs. Relatively little is known about the free-living male Tunga adults. Among impoverished communities of Fortaleza in north-east Brazil, we observed T. penetrans males as well as females penetrating the skin of human hosts. After penetrating the epidermis for a few hours, evidently for capillary feeding from the dermis, males withdrew their mouthparts and crawled away, whereas the females remained completely embedded, hypertrophying to become gravid, eventually dying in situ after oviposition. Caged rats were placed on the sandy soil and examined periodically for Tunga infestation. On five rats we obtained 140 females embedded and we detected 75 males biting, with rat erythrocytes observed in the proventriculus and midgut of all five males dissected and examined microscopically. This confirms that T. penetrans males are hamatophagous ectoparasites of mammals. SN - 0269-283X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15642011/Blood_feeding_of_Tunga_penetrans_males_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -