Ectoparasites and endoparasites of peridomestic house-rats in ile-ife, Nigeria and implication on human health.
AbstractBackground: There has never been a single case report of any parasitic zoono-sis in Ile-Ife while just a case of human Acanthocephalan infection in Nigeria is available. Methods: Fifty (house–rats) Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758) were caught in houses and raw food sellers’ stalls in a market in Ile-Ife. A caught rat was removed from the cage and sacrificed by cervical jerking. A rat was weighed, measured, quickly following which thick and thin blood films on microscope slides were made from blood collected from the tail vein. The rat was examined for ectoparasites then dissected to check for endoparasites. Results: Two ectoparasites (Xenopsylla cheopis and Laelaptid mite) were recovered from 19 (38.0%) of the rats. Five genera of helminthes (Moniliformis, Hymenolepis, Taenia, Trichuris and Trichinella) were recovered from 29 (58.0%) of the rats while seven genera of protozoa organisms (Amoeba, Dientamoeba, Entamoeba, Retortamo-nas, Trichomonas, Chilomastix and Trypanosoma) were recovered from 48 (96.0%) of them. There was no correlation (Spearman’s correlation coefficient = -0.111) between the weight of the individual rat and the total number of alimentary canal acquired parasites. Conclusion: In relation to human health, implications of the rats serving as res-ervoir hosts for the different pathogens are highlighted. In view of the possibility of unexpected zoonosis arising from the parasites found in the peridomestic rats in this investigation and others not found, and in view of the difficulties that may be associated with diagnosing such ailment, especially by a clinician who trained locally, this report should be like raising awareness to these salient facts.
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