The Human Flea, Pulex irritans

I love this flourescent mircrograph by Brad Amos at LMP

3 thoughts on “The Human Flea, Pulex irritans

  1. Dear all, with respect to the significance or rather absence of significance of human ectoparasitism in plague epidemiology, and the various reasons, also the formal technical impossibility that human fleas or lice can play any role in the transmission and dissemination of epidemic bubonic plague, I would like to mention that I have again discussed these topics thoroughly in my recent monograph ‘The Black Death and Later Plague Epidemics in the Scandinavian Countries. Berlin: De Greuter, Perspectives and Controversies. Chapter 7, Lars Walløe’s Human-Flea Theory of Plague Epidemiology, pp. 355-394; Chapter 11, On the Theories that Plague Epidemics of the Past were spread by Cross-infection by Human Lice and Fleas. Discussion of Recent Theories by Raoult and Drancourt, and by Walløe’, pp. 593-62. For some important facts, see also subchapters in my discussion of the so-called early-phase transmission that now has also been Iinvalidated in two recent articles by by Hinnebusch, Jarret and Bland 2017. See Chapter 12, sub-chapters 12.6-12.8, pp. 639-654, where all data on plague bacteraemia in human beings and rats are presented and discussed, and, as such, also the role of human beings and rats as sources of infection of feeding human ectoparasites. I have written about these subjects also elsewhere, but I am certain this will suffice for information on central dimensions of the matter and serve any discussion of them well.
    Kind regards,
    Ole J. Benedictow


    1. Dear Ole,

      It is just a micrograph that I like. I posted it so regular readers would know what is in the new header. I’m not trying to start a debate on which fleas are involved in the plague.



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