Entomological surveillance for rodent and their ectoparasites in Scrub Typhus affected areas of Meghalaya, (India)
Abhay Kumar Sharma
In order to ascertain the prevalence of rodent and their arthropod ectoparasites association in the scrub typhus affected areas of Shillong and surrounding areas in Meghalaya (India) present study was undertook. During the surveillance the rodent species encountered in order of their prevalence were Mole species, Suncus murinus, Rattus rattus, Bandicota indica and Mus musculus. A total 66 vector larval trombiculid mite chigger (Leptotrombidium deliense) was collected from the rodents giving an overall chigger index as 1.80. Chigger infestation rate was found to be 4.8. In addition, a total of 62 fleas were also retrieved giving an overall flea index as 1.44 which is above critical index of one and requires anti-flea measure in the area. For serological study rodent serum samples were collected for detection of Orientia (Scrub typhus) and plague antibodies and all samples were found to be negative. For bacteriological investigations organ impression smear and organ of rodents (heart, liver, lung, and spleen) were collected in culture medium and no sample could show any plague bacilli activity or isolation of Yersinia pestis. Results of the study suggest regular and continuous surveillance for rodent and their ectoparasites to monitor the activity of plague bacilli and scrub typhus vector so as to institute early control measures if needed.