Ectoparasites on murid rodents caught in MTS. Palay-palay/mataas NA Gulod National Park, Luzon Island, Philippines

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:H. Anne V. Luyon, Salibay C. Cabanacan
Journal:The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Issue:Supplement 1

Proceedings of the Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting 2006, and the 5th Seminar on Food-And-Water Borne Parasitic Zoonoses.

Rodents in lowland, midland and upland areas of the forest of Mts. Palay-palay/Mataas na Gulod National Park (MPMGNP), Luzon Island, Philippines were trapped using a live capture method. All rodents trapped belonged to genus Rattus namely R. norvegicus (35.9%), R. everetti (27.8%), R. tanezumi (20.5%) and R. argentiventer (15.8%). Ectoparasites were recovered from the rodents through scraping of host’s skin, hair and nails, and collection of dead ectoparasites after insecticide dusting. Among the ectoparasites identified based on their morphological characteristics were Polyplax spinulosa (68.0%), Chirodiscoides caviae (13.2%), Laelaps nuttali (11.5%), Ornithonyssius bacoti (4.5%) and Xenopsyllia cheopis (2.6%). The infestation rate of the parasite varied based on the rat species, with P. spinulosa parasitizing all the rodents caught, and R. norvegicus having the highest infestation rate. Chirodiscoides caviae parasitized predominantly R. norvegicus, while L. nuttali was found mainly on R. tanezumi. Ornithonyssius bacoti was found on both R. tanezumi and R. norvegicus, while X. cheopis was only recovered on R. argentiventer. Ectoparasite infestation was also influenced by the gender of the host, with male rats (71.43%) manifesting a significantly higher (p<0.05) infestation rate than female rats (28.57%). All recovered ectoparasites were common parasites of rats. Infested rats near human habitations in the area warrant possible rodent-borne diseases among the residents thus, an investigation of the occurrence of rodent-borne diseases among the dwellers may provide epidemiologic pattern related to such disease

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