Exploring the role of the domestic dog and wild rodents as peri-domestic reservoirs of Rickettsia felis (ARC Linkage Project administered by University of Melbourne) (2014–2017)
Rickettsia felis is an emerging and grossly underestimated bacterial zoonosis throughout the world. Although the common dog and cat flea Ctenocephaledes felis, is the established biological vector for R. felis, the mammalian reservoir, essential for the pathogen's maintenance in nature remains largely unascertained. This project aims to confirm the suspected role of dogs as primary, and wild rats as secondary mammalian reservoirs for R. felis respectively through controlled experimental and epidemiological studies. The potential for the dog and wild rat to act as reservoirs for R. felis will add significance importance to flea control in pets as well as wild rodent control.