Survey for sylvatic plague in the mexican prairie dog (Cynomys mexicanus)
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A survey to detect presence of sylvatic plague in the endangered Mexican prairie dog (Cynomys mexicanus) was completed throughout its geographical range during June, July, and August 1993, and December 1995. Blood samples from 52 Mexican prairie dogs from 14 colonies in northern Mexico, 10 spotted ground squirrels (Spermophilus spilososma) and one Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) from a single colony, and 15 kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis) from 9 prairie dog colonies were analyzed by passive hemagglutination tests. All blood specimens tested negative for sylvatic plague antibodies. Three species of fleas, Pulex simulans, Thrassis fotus, Oropsylla hirsuta (Opisocrostis hirsutus) and one species of tick Ixodes sp. were collected from 25 Mexican prairie dogs from 7 colonies in Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. Extracts from ectoparasites failed tO produce plague in inoculated mice.