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Effectiveness of Fipronil as a Systemic Control Agent Against Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) in Madagascar

Abstract : Fipronil was evaluated as a systemic control agent for the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothschild), the main vector of Yersinia pestis (Yersin), the causative agent of plague, in Madagascar. The effectiveness of fipronil as a systemic control agent against X. cheopis was assessed by determining the toxicity values of the " Lethal Dose 50 " (LD 50). Two techniques were used to evaluate the systemic action of the insecticide on the vector: 1) an artificial feeding device filled with blood–fipronil mixture from which X. cheopis was fed and 2) rodent hosts, Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout) and Rattus rattus (L.), which fed on fipronil-treated bait. As a standardized control method, the susceptibility of X. cheopis to fipronil was evaluated by exposure to impregnated paper within World Health Organization (WHO) insecticide test protocol to compare its effect to the systemic activity of the studied insecticide. Results showed that when administered in a systemic way, fipronil appears to be more effective: the toxicity level was evaluated to be ninefold higher compared with the WHO test. Compared with other methods, which require indiscriminate dusting of rodent burrows and human dwellings, fipronil applied in a systemic way enables the direct targeting of the plague vector. Thus, this method appears to be a superior alternative to fipronil-dusting for the control of the main plague vector in Madagascar. However, subsequent tests in the field are necessary to confirm the suitability of fipronil administration in a systemic way on large scales.
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D M Rajonhson, A. Miarinjara, S. Rahelinirina, M. Rajerison, S. Boyer. Effectiveness of Fipronil as a Systemic Control Agent Against Xenopsylla cheopis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) in Madagascar. Journal of Medical Entomology, Entomological Society of America, 2017, 54 (2), pp.411-417. ⟨10.1093/jme/tjw200⟩. ⟨pasteur-01649320⟩



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