Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) as a potential reservoir for Echinococcus granulosus: A public health implication
Cystic hydatidosis is a re-emerging parasitic zoonosis with worldwide distribution. The current study was carried out to investigate the possible role of rats in the epidemiology of such disease in urban and suburban areas. For this purpose, a total of 50 feral Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) were collected from urban and suburban settings, Cairo, Egypt. Rats were examined to be infected with cystic hydatidosis through serological examination by IHA test as well as post-mortem examination of internal organs, histopathological or molecular identification of the collected cysts. Moreover, 42 persons inhabiting suburban areas were tested for cystic hydatidosis by IHA. The overall seroprevalence rates of cystic hydatidosis in the examined rats and persons were 36% and 11.9% respectively. Cysts from 3 rats were identified as E. granulosus hydatid cysts (one via histopathological examination while the others by molecular technique and genotyped as G6 strain). The results of the current study highlight the possible role of Norway rat in the epidemiological cycle of E. granulosus especially in urban and suburban settings.
KeywordsNorway rat Echinococcus granulosus public health
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