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Intestinal helminths of spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus) from St Katherine's Protectorate in the Sinai, Egypt

  • J.M. Behnke (a1), C.J. Barnard (a1), N. Mason (a1), P.D. Harris (a1), N.E. Sherif (a2), S. Zalat (a2) and F.S. Gilbert (a1)...

Abstract

Spiny mice, Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus, inhabiting the wadis close to St Katherine in the mountains of the Sinai peninsula, were trapped and their helminth parasites were studied. Sixty one mice provided faeces for analysis and 27 were killed and autopsied. Six species of helminths were recorded (the spirurid nematodes, Protospirura muricola (74.1%) and Mastophorus muris (11.1%), the oxyuroid nematodes, Dentostomella kuntzi (59.3%), Aspiculuris africana (3.7%), and Syphacia minuta (3.7%) and the hymenolepidid cestode Rodentolepis negevi (18.5%)). The spirurids were the dominant species present, accounting for up to 0.87% of total host body weight. Analysis of worm weights and lengths suggested that transmission had been taking place in the months preceding our study. No sex difference in the prevalence or abundance of spirurids was detected. Significant differences were identified in the abundance of total nematode burdens and the mean helminth species richness between the three wadis which provided multiple captures of mice. There was also a marked effect of host age on both parameters. A highly significant positive correlation between spirurid egg counts and total worm biomass indicated that non-invasive techniques based on egg counts could be used to quantify worm burdens and when this technique was applied to a larger sample size (n = 61), a significant difference between sites but no host sex or age effects were detected for spirurid faecal egg counts. The data suggest that there are differences between helminth component communities infecting spiny mice in different neighbouring wadis, a hypothesis which will be explored further through our continuing studies in the Sinai.

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*Fax: 0115 951 3252 E-mail: jerzy.behnke@nottingham.ac.uk

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Intestinal helminths of spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus) from St Katherine's Protectorate in the Sinai, Egypt

  • J.M. Behnke (a1), C.J. Barnard (a1), N. Mason (a1), P.D. Harris (a1), N.E. Sherif (a2), S. Zalat (a2) and F.S. Gilbert (a1)...

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