Occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in small mammals from Germany

  • An increase in zoonotic infections in humans in recent years has led to a high level of public interest. However, the extent of infestation of free-living small mammals with pathogens and especially parasites is not well understood. This pilot study was carried out within the framework of the "Rodent-borne pathogens" network to identify zoonotic parasites in small mammals in Germany. From 2008 to 2009, 111 small mammals of 8 rodent and 5 insectivore species were collected. Feces and intestine samples from every mammal were examined microscopically for the presence of intestinal parasites by using Telemann concentration for worm eggs, Kinyoun staining for coccidia, and Heidenhain staining for other protozoa. Adult helminths were additionally stained with carmine acid for species determination. Eleven different helminth species, five coccidians, and three other protozoa species were detected. Simultaneous infection of one host by different helminths was common. Hymenolepis spp. (20.7%) were the most common zoonotic helminths in theAn increase in zoonotic infections in humans in recent years has led to a high level of public interest. However, the extent of infestation of free-living small mammals with pathogens and especially parasites is not well understood. This pilot study was carried out within the framework of the "Rodent-borne pathogens" network to identify zoonotic parasites in small mammals in Germany. From 2008 to 2009, 111 small mammals of 8 rodent and 5 insectivore species were collected. Feces and intestine samples from every mammal were examined microscopically for the presence of intestinal parasites by using Telemann concentration for worm eggs, Kinyoun staining for coccidia, and Heidenhain staining for other protozoa. Adult helminths were additionally stained with carmine acid for species determination. Eleven different helminth species, five coccidians, and three other protozoa species were detected. Simultaneous infection of one host by different helminths was common. Hymenolepis spp. (20.7%) were the most common zoonotic helminths in the investigated hosts. Coccidia, including Eimeria spp. (30.6%), Cryptosporidium spp. (17.1%), and Sarcocystis spp. (17.1%), were present in 40.5% of the feces samples of small mammals. Protozoa, such as Giardia spp. and amoebae, were rarely detected, most likely because of the repeated freeze-thawing of the samples during preparation. The zoonotic pathogens detected in this pilot study may be potentially transmitted to humans by drinking water, smear infection, and airborne transmission.show moreshow less

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Author details:Diana RieboldORCiD, Kati Russow, Mathias Schlegel, Theres Wollny, Joerg Thiel, Jona Freise, Ommo Hueppop, Jana Anja EccardORCiDGND, Anita Plenge-Boenig, Micha Loebermann, Rainer Günter UlrichORCiDGND, Sebastian KlammtORCiD, Thomas Christoph Mettenleiter, Emil Christian Reisinger
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2019.2457
ISSN:1530-3667
ISSN:1557-7759
Pubmed ID:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=31513468
Title of parent work (English):Vector borne and zoonotic diseases
Publisher:Liebert
Place of publishing:New Rochelle
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2020/01/31
Completion year:2020
Release date:2021/06/03
Tag:Germany; Hymenolepis; insectivores; parasites; rodents
Volume:20
Issue:2
Number of pages:9
First page:125
Last Page:133
Funding institution:German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the National Research Platform for ZoonosesFederal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) [01KI1018, 01KI1303]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Peer review:Referiert