Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Parasite populations in the brown rat Rattus norvegicus from Doha, Qatar between years: the effect of host age, sex and density

  • M.A. Abu-Madi (a1), J.M. Behnke (a2), M. Mikhail (a3), J.W. Lewis (a4) and M.L. Al-Kaabi (a3)...

Abstract

A total of 179 urban rats were sampled in the city of Doha in Qatar across the winter seasons (February–April) of 2002 and 2003. Only two parasites were identified, with overall prevalences of 35.8% and 41.3% for the cestode Hymenolepis diminuta and the flea Xenopsylla astia respectively. The prevalence of H. diminuta was markedly influenced by both year of study and host age, being higher in 2003 and amongst older rats. The abundance of infection of H. diminuta was influenced by the year of study, host age and sex. Worm burdens in adult rats were almost twice as heavy in males compared with females and adults of both sexes harboured heavier infections than juveniles. The prevalence of X. astia was influenced by both year and host age, being higher in juvenile rats in 2002 and in adults in 2003. The abundance of X. astia was significantly higher in 2003 and both male and female rats showed similar abundances, but in 2003 females were more heavily infested. Reasons for this are discussed in relation to the differing foraging strategies shown by male and female rats. The prevalence and abundance profiles for both H. diminuta and X. astia were higher overall in 2003 due to a significant increase in the rat population density, although this did not reflect in any increase in parasite species richness. Rats that were infected with H. diminuta were almost twice as likely to be infected with X. astia than those without the cestode, but when controlled for the effects of year, host age and sex, no quantitative interactions were detected between the two parasite species.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Qatar, PO Box 2713, Qatar Fax: (+974) 4880337 E-mail: abumadi@qu.edu.qa

References

Hide All
Abu-Madi, M.A., Behnke, J.M., Lewis, J.W. & Gilbert, F.S. (1998) Descriptive epidemiology of Heligmosomoides polygyrus in Apodemus sylvaticus from three contrasting habitats in south-east England. Journal of Helminthology 72, 93100.
Abu-Madi, M.A., Behnke, J.M., Lewis, J.W. & Gilbert, F.S. (2000) Seasonal and site specific variation in the component community structure of intestinal helminths in Apodemus sylvaticus from three contrasting habitats in south-east England. Journal of Helminthology 74, 715.
Abu-Madi, M.A., Lewis, J.W., Mickail, M., El-Nagger, M.E. & Behnke, J.M. (2001) Monospecific helminth and arthropod infections in an urban population of brown rats from Doha, Qatar. Journal of Helminthology 75, 313320.
Andreassen, J., Bennet-Jenkin, E.M. & Bryant, C. (1999) Immunology and biochemistry of Hymenolepis diminuta. Advances in Parasitology 42, 223275.
Arneberg, P., Skorping, A., Grenfell, B. & Read, A.F. (1998) Host density as determinants of abundance in parasite communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 265, Series B, 12831289.
Behnke, J.M., Lewis, J.W., Mohd Zain, S.N. & Gilbert, F.S. (1999) Helminth infections in Apodemus sylvaticus in southern England: interactive effects of host age, sex and year on prevalence and abundance of infections. Journal of Helminthology 73, 3144.
Behnke, J.M., Barnard, C., Mason, N., Harris, P.D., Sherif, N.E., Zalat, S. & Gilbert, F.S. (2000) Intestinal helminths of spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus) from St Katherine's Protectorate in the Sinai, Egypt. Journal of Helminthology 74, 3143.
Behnke, J.M., Bajer, A., Sinski, E. & Wakelin, D. (2001) Interactions involving intestinal nematodes of rodents: experimental and field studies. Parasitology 122, S39S49.
Boggs, J.F., McMurray, S.T., Leslie, D.M., Jr Engle, D.M. & Lochmiller, R.L. (1991) Influence of habitat modification on the community of gastrointestinal helminths of cotton rats. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 27, 584593.
Brooks, J.E. & Rowe, F.P. (1987) Vector control series: rodents, training and information guide. World Health Organization, 107 WHO/VBC/87.949.
Bundy, D.A.P. (1988) Gender-dependent patterns of infection and disease. Parasitology Today 4, 186189.
Damuth, J.D. (1987) Interspecific allometry of population density in mammals and other animals: the independence of body mass and population energy-use. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 31, 193246.
Davis, D.E. (1948) The survival of wild brown rats on a Maryland farm. Ecology 29, 437448.
Davis, D.E. (1951) The relation between level of population and size and sex of Norway rats. Ecology 32, 462464.
Elhag, E.A., Aspinall, S., Schwarze, H., Boer, B., Osman, A. (2002) Environmental survey in Abu-Hamour, Doha, Qatar UNESCO Report for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture. pp. 116.
Fahmy, M.A.M., Rifaat, M.A. & Arafa, M.S. (1969) Helminthic infection of the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769) in, U.A.R. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association 46, 147153.
Haukisalmi, V., Henttonen, H. (1993) Coexistence in helminths of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus I. Patterns of co-occurrence. Journal of Animal Ecology 62, 230238.
Haukisalmi, V., Henttonen, H. & Tenora, F. (1988) Population dynamics of common rare helminths in cyclic vole populations. Journal of Animal Ecology 57, 807825.
Healing, T.D. & Nowell, F. (1985) Diseases and parasites of woodland rodent populations. Symposium of the Zoological Society of London 55, 193218.
Keymer, A.E. & Dobson, A.P. (1987) The ecology of helminth populations of small mammals. Mammal Review 17, 105116.
Kisielewska, K. (1970) Ecological organization of intestinal helminth groupings in Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreb.) (Rodentia). IV. Spatial structure of a helminth grouping within the host population. Acta Parasitologica Polonica 18, 177196.
Kock, D., Schwarze, H. & Oppermann, T. (2002) Fauna survey in Ras Laffan industrial city, Qatar. Rapid assessment of the gas to liquid project area. 31 pp. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, The UNESCO regional office in the Arab states of the Gulf
Langley, R. & Fairley, J.S. (1982) Seasonal variations in infestations of parasites in a wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus population in the west of Ireland. Journal of Zoology 198, 249261.
Lewis, J.W. (1968a) Studies on the helminth parasites of the long-tailed field mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus from Wales. Journal of Zoology 154, 287312.
Lewis, J.W. (1968b) Studies on the helminth parasites of voles and shrews from Wales. Journal of Zoology 154, 313331.
Linardi, P.M., Botelho, J.R. & Cunha, H.C. (1985) Ectoparasitos de roedores da regiao urbana de Belo Horizonte, MG II. Oscilacoes dos indices de infestacao em Rattus norvegicus norvegicus. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 80, 227232.
Mafiana, C.F., Osho, M.B. & Sam-Wobo, S. (1997) Gastrointestinal helminth parasites of the black rat (Rattus rattus) in Abeokuta, southwest Nigeria. Journal of Helminthology 71, 217220.
May, R.M. & Anderson, R.M. (1979) Population biology of infectious diseases Part II. Nature 280, 361367.
Mollhagen, T. (1978) Habitat influence on helminth parasitism of the cotton rat in western Texas, with remarks on some of the parasites. Southwestern Naturalist 23, 401408.
Montgomery, S.S.J. & Montgomery, W.I. (1988) Cyclic and non-cyclic dynamics in populations of the helminth parasites of wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus. Journal of Helminthology 62, 7890.
Montgomery, S.S.J. & Montgomery, W.I. (1989) Spatial and temporal variation in the infracommunity structure of helminths of Apodemus sylvaticus (Rodentia: Muridae). Parasitology 89, 145150.
Montgomery, S.S.J. & Montgomery, W.I. (1990) Structure, stability and species interactions in helminth communities of wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus. International Journal for Parasitology 20, 225242.
Osbrink, W.L.A. & Rust, M.K. (1984) Fecundity and longevity of the adult cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 21, 727731.
O'Sullivan, H.M., Small, C.M. & Fairley, J.S. (1984) A study of parasitic infections in populations of small rodents (Apodemus sylvaticus and Clethrionomys glareolus) on Ross Island, Killarney. Journal of Life Sciences, Royal Dublin Society 5, 2942.
Read, C.P. (1967) Longevity of the tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta. Journal of Parasitology 53, 10551056.
Rifaat, M.A., Mohammed, A.H.H., Mahdi, A.H. & Arafa, M.S. (1969) Some observations on ectoparasites infesting domestic and commensal rodents in U.A.R. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association 44, 97118.
Rust, M.K. & Dryden, M.W. (1997) The biology, ecology, and management of the cat flea. Annual Review of Entomology 42, 451473.
Seng, L.T., Liat, L.B., Fong, Y.L. & Krishnasamy, M. (1979) Parasite fauna of the house rat Rattus rattus diardii in Kuala Lumpur and nearby villages. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 10, 122126.
Seong, J.K., Huh, S., Lee, J.S. & Oh, Y.S. (1995) Helminths in Rattus norvegicus in Chunchon, Korea. Korean Journal of Parasitology 33, 235237.
Tenora, F. & Stanek, M. (1995) Changes of the helminthofauna in several Muridae and Arvicolidae at Lednice in Moravia II. Ecology. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis 43, 5765.
Twigg, L.E., Lowe, T.J., Martin, G.R., Wheeler, A.G., Gray, G.S., Griffin, S.L., O'Reilly, C.M., Butler, T.L., Robinson, D.J. & Hubach, P.H. (1998) The ecology of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in coastal southern Western Australia. Wildlife Research 25, 97111.
Webster, J.P. & Macdonald, D.W. (1995) Parasites of wild brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) on UK farms. Parasitology 111, 247255.
Whitaker, J.O. (1980) The Audubon society field guide to North American mammals. 745 pp. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
WHO (1991) Report on the regional workshop on urban vector control. 51 pp. World Health Organization, WHO-EM/VBC/51-E.
Zakaria, M. & Zaghloul, T.M. (1982) Parasitic infection of Rattus norvegicus in Kuwait. pp. 136143 in Proceedings of the First Symposium on Recent Advances in Rodent Control, Kuwait.

Parasite populations in the brown rat Rattus norvegicus from Doha, Qatar between years: the effect of host age, sex and density

  • M.A. Abu-Madi (a1), J.M. Behnke (a2), M. Mikhail (a3), J.W. Lewis (a4) and M.L. Al-Kaabi (a3)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed