University of Khartoum

Parasites of the Nile rat in rural and urban regions of Sudan

Parasites of the Nile rat in rural and urban regions of Sudan

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Title: Parasites of the Nile rat in rural and urban regions of Sudan
Author: El Rayah, El Amin
Abstract: In this investigation on endoparasites (helminths) and ectoparasites of the Nile rat (Arvicanthis niloticus Desmarest, 1822), a total of 220 Nile rats were trapped from different regions of Sudan during the period January 2003–January 2006. Examination of different tissues, identification of parasites, effect of these parasites on the organs, the prevalence and intensity of infestation of the parasites and their relation to the habitat of the host, and sex-related infestations were considered. Results showed that the variation among helminth species was wide, especially in those that are transferred by arthropods. No protozoan parasites or distortion in the infected tissues were observed. No examination for Toxoplasma gondii was carried out. Two species of cestodes (Hymenolepis nana, Hymenolepis diminuta), two genera (Raillietina sp. I, Raillietina sp. II) and one unidentified Hymenolepididae were reported. The most prevalent species of cestodes was Raillietina sp. And for nematodes only one species and one genus were recovered (Monanema nilotica and Streptopharagus sp.). Investigation of skin revealed that 83.8% of rats were infested with one or more of ectoparasites; namely, insects and arachnids. This survey also revealed that fleas and lice were the most common ectoparasites that infested the Nile rat. Synanthropic rodents, particularly those living in close association with man, play a significant role in human health, welfare and economy. It has to be stressed that their arthropod ectoparasites are important vectors of pathogenic microorganisms and they can also be important reservoirs for parasitic zoonoses, like trichinellosis and capillariosis. No doubt, the increase in rodent populations could be followed by an increase in zoonotic diseases (Stojcevic et al. 2004, Durden et al. 2000). Rats and mice (commensal and wild) play an important role in public health, being carriers or reservoirs for infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans (zoonoses). Xenopsylla cheopis is the most important vector of plague and the rickettsial infection murine typhus (Gratz 1999). Man can also acquire the infection through direct contact with infected animals’ tissues (WHO 1987). Arvicanthis niloticus, Mastomys natalensis and Rattus rattus are probably the most important and widespread reservoirs of plague in Kenya: 10 percent of all Rattus rattus tested were found to be positive as compared to 12% of the Arvicanthis niloticus (Gratz 1999).
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/18157
Date: 2016-01-03


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