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Parasite biodiversity in Rattus spp caught in wet markets.

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Biology Department, College of Science, De La Salle University-Manila, Taft Avenue, Manila 1000, Philippines.


Rattus spp trapped in wet markets in Quiapo, Manila and Balayan, Batangas had ectoparasites, Echinolaelaps echidnius (mite), and Polyplax spinulosa (louse). The endoparasites identified were Hymenolepis diminuta; the acanthocephalan Moniliformis moniliformis; Taenia taeniaeformis strobilocercus larvae and Capillaria hepatica in liver; Trichosomoides crassicauda of the urinary bladder; Sarcocystis sp of muscle tissue; and two different species of stronglyloid-looking intestinal nematodes. Rats had 100% infection with C. hepatica and T. taeniaeformis, exhibiting high parasitemia. The co-existence of rats with diverse parasitic species is reflective of the host's capability to support parasites' behavioral, physiological, and developmental needs. Despite heavy infection with intestinal parasites, and marked hepatic tissue damage owing to severe capillariasis and strobilocercus larval infection, all rats appeared healthy and agile, suggestive of a well-established rat host-parasite relationship. In view of the diversity and zoonotic nature of rat parasites, and the impoverished conditions prevailing in communities where Rattus spp survive and proliferate, they can readily facilitate parasite transmission to humans and other susceptible animal hosts.

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