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The rat flea; a genus of fleas parasitic on the rat and involved in the transmission of bubonic plague. The species xenopsylla cheopis serves as a potent vector of yersinia pestis, largely because its gut becomes blocked by a mass of Y. Pestis cells which prevents the flea from feeding normally, so that it is inclined to attack man and other hosts; it is an important source of infection in traditional epidemic areas such as india. Xenopsylla astia and Xenopsylla braziliensis are also efficient vectors of plague.

Origin: xeno-_ G. Psylla, flea

Retrieved from "http://www.biology-online.org/bodict/index.php?title=Xenopsylla&oldid=61904"
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