Polygenis spp

From Dog
Adult Polygenis gwyni[1]

Polygenis spp are a common hematophagous parasitic rhopalopsyllid flea which is commonly found on rodents but has been reported on hunting dogs[2].

These fleas, primarily a parasite of small carnivores, infect dogs as an accidental host.

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Polygenis gwyni[3]
  • Polygenis atopus
  • Polygenis rimatus
  • Polygenis roberti roberti
  • Polygenis tripus

Clinical signs include pruritus and localized dermatitis associated with flea activity.

Transmission of Rickettsia felis has been reported[4].

Treatment is usually effective with a range of insecticidal drugs such as fipronil and permethrins.


  1. Dedetizacao
  2. Durden LA et al (2004) Ectoparasites and other epifaunistic arthropods of sympatric cotton mice and golden mice: comparisons and implications for vector-borne zoonotic diseases. J Parasitol 90(6):1293-1297
  3. Durden LA et al (2005) Fleas parasitizing domestic dogs in Georgia, USA: species composition and seasonal abundance. Vet Parasitol 130(1-2):157-162
  4. Horta MC et al (2007) Rickettsia infection in five areas of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 102(7):793-801