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      Allergy to flea bites. I. Experimental induction of flea-bite sensitivity in guinea pigs


      Sensitization of guinea pigs to flea bites, by exposure to the bites of Pulex irritans, P. simulans and Ctenocephalides felis felis, resulted in a delayed 12 to 24-hour reaction. The development of hypersensitivity and resulting lesions very closely duplicated the early phases of sensitivity in human beings subjected to intradermally injected foreign proteins or to the bites of insects such as mosquitoes or blackflies. The present results differed sharply from the reported results of experimental sensitization of rabbits to the bites of various mosquitoes.Guinea pigs sensitized to one species of flea as a rule reacted to all flea species used in the experimental work reported here. This would seem to indicate the presence of a common antigenic factor present in P. irritans, P. simulans, and C. f. felis.

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