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Cockroaches as carriers of bacteria in multi-family dwellings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2009

A. Cloarec
Laboratoire d'ethologie, URA CNRS 373, Université de Rennes I, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
C. Rivault
Laboratoire d'ethologie, URA CNRS 373, Université de Rennes I, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
F. Fontaine
Laboratoire d'ethologie, URA CNRS 373, Université de Rennes I, Campus de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex, France
A. Le Guyader
A.A.C.C.E.S. Qualité, 13 bis rue Lanjunais, 35000 Rennes, France
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The potential risk of bacterial dissemination due to the presence of cockroaches (Blattella germanica, Blattellidae) in low-income flats was investigated. Cockroaches can carry a great variety of bacterial species; we identified 30 different species from 52 different flats. Klebsiella oxycytoca, K. pneumoniae and Enterobacter cloacae were the most frequently found. Pathogenic and potentially pathogenic bacteria represented 54% of all the bacterial identifications. Bacteria were carried either on the cuticle or in the gut. Contamination through external contact is sufficient to insure bacterial diffusion. There was a very low level of overlap estimated by Pianka's index (a) between the bacterial flora of neighbouring blocks of flats, and (b) between bacterial flora of different flats in the same block.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1992



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