The virus of Mexican typhus has been shown to multiply abundantly in the following species of fleas: Xenopsylla cheopis, Ceratophyllus fasciatus, Leptopsylla musculi, Ctenocephalus canis, Ctenocephalus felis.
In all fleas, Rickettsia prowazeki was demonstrated within the epithelial cells of the stomach and within the cells of the Malpighian tubules. Whereas in infected lice enormous numbers of these organisms are discharged from the disintegrating cells into the intestinal content, only few Rickettsiae are found in the lumen of the fleas' intestines. They are held back by the peritrophic membrane, which covers the mucosa of the entire stomach. Rickettsiae seem to enter the lumen of the gut almost exclusively by the route of the Malpighian tubules. Observations were made which seem to indicate that the fleas recover from the infection and that they are able to regenerate the partly destroyed intestinal mucosa. An explanation is given for the relative harmlessness of fleas as vectors of typhus.