Fleas from common rodent species are an unlikely source of plague (Yersinia pestis) in managed forests of northwestern Oregon, USA

Hanselmann, Rhea; Dizney, Laurie J.; Bron, Gebbiena M.; Jolles, Anna E.


Anthropogenic environmental change can alter the susceptibility of wildlife hosts to pathogens and provide an opportunity for disease emergence. We explored Yersinia pestis prevalence in fleas from three rodent species inhabiting intensively managed forests in Oregon, USA. Y. pestis was not detected in the 145 fleas (3 families and 9 species) collected. Our results suggest a low public health threat from plague in this anthropogenically altered landscape and contribute to regional Y. pestis monitoring efforts.