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Urban rodents as potential reservoirs of zoonoses: a parasitic survey in two selected areas in Kandy district

Authors:

K Sumangali,

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, LK
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RPVJ Rajapakse,

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, LK
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RS Rajakaruna

Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Urban rodents play an important role in public health being reservoirs of many zoonotic diseases. Screening of rodents for ecto and endoparasites from two selected urban areas, Peradeniya and Pilimathalawe in Kandy district was carried out to assess their potential as reservoirs of zoonoses. Rodents were caught live using single-catch rat traps from July 2006 to February 2007. Six traps were set twice a week and three rodent species, the common house rat, Rattus rattus (n = 17), the Indian house mouse, Mus musculus (n = 2), and bandicoot, Bandicota indica (n = 2) were examined. Of the eleven species of parasites found, five were zoonotic namely, Hymenolepis diminuta, Moniliformis moniliformis, Cysticercus fasciolaris, Raillietina sp. and Xenopsylla cheopis. Tapeworms were the predominant parasitic group (52.4%) of which C. fasciolaris (42.7%) was the most common type followed by strongyle type eggs (19.0%). Among the infected rodents, 23.8% had mixed infections of H. diminuta, X. cheopis and M. moniliformis as well as that of H. diminuta, Raillietina sp. and C. fasciolaris. Although Raillietina madagascariensis was recorded in R. rattus in 1954, none of the rats examined in subsequent studies or in the present study were infected with Raillietina. However, one bandicoot was infected with Raillietina sp. in the present study which presents a new host record. Urban rodents carry many zoonotic infections and urbanization is in favour of the spread of these infections to humans specifically in developing countries where the communities are socio-economically challenged.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v41i1.4539

Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sci.) 41 (1): 71-77, 2012

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v41i1.4539
How to Cite: Sumangali, K., Rajapakse, R. & Rajakaruna, R., (2012). Urban rodents as potential reservoirs of zoonoses: a parasitic survey in two selected areas in Kandy district. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences). 41(1), pp.71–77. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v41i1.4539
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Published on 01 Aug 2012.
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