Vaccination against the cat flea Ctenocephalides felis felis

Parasite Immunol. 1994 Apr;16(4):187-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3024.1994.tb00339.x.


Non-chemical control of haematophagous parasites is a desirable goal. We report here on the use of concealed antigens from the major digestive organ of the cat-flea as vaccine components. Rabbits were immunized with various antigens from cat flea midguts, and immunoglobulin from these rabbits was fed to cat fleas in an artificial feeding system. Antibody produced against soluble antigens from the midguts of fed fleas was able to kill fleas in this system. Dogs were then immunized with various antigen preparations, and challenged for a week with live fleas. Significantly fewer live fleas were recovered from dogs immunized with fed midgut supernatant, and recovered live female fleas produced significantly fewer eggs. This study indicates the possibility of vaccination as a means of control of flea, and possibly other blood sucking insect populations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dogs
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / parasitology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / prevention & control
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Insect Control / methods
  • Male
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Rabbits
  • Siphonaptera / immunology*
  • Siphonaptera / physiology
  • Vaccination / veterinary*


  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin G