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The parasitism of Schistosoma mansoni (Digenea–Trematoda) in a naturally infected population of water rats, Nectomys squamipes (Rodentia–Sigmodontinae) in Brazil

  • P. S. D'ANDREA (a1), L. S. MAROJA (a1) (a2), R. GENTILE (a3), R. CERQUEIRA (a3), A. MALDONADO (a1) and L. REY (a1)...

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a health problem in Brazil and the role of rodents in maintaining the schistosome life-cycle requires further clarification. The influence of Schistosoma mansoni on a population of Nectomys squamipes was studied by capture-recapture (1st phase, from June 1991 to November 1995) and removal (2nd phase, from April 1997 to March 1999) studies at Sumidouro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During both phases coproscopic examinations were performed. At the 2nd phase the rodents were perfused and worms were counted. The population dynamics of parasites was studied. During the 1st phase, female reproductive parameters, longevity, recruitment and survivorship rates and migration patterns were studied in relation to schistosome prevalence. Water contamination (source of miracidia), abundance intermediate host and rodent migration were related to prevalence. The N. squamipes population was not obviously influenced by the infection, as shown by the high number of reproductive infected females, high longevity of infected individuals and the absence of a relationship between recruitment or survivorship rates and the intensity of schistosome infection. The data indicate that N. squamipes can increase transmission of S. mansoni in endemic areas and carry it to non-infected areas. Furthermore, this rodent can be used as an indicator of a transmission focus.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author: Departamento de Medicina Tropical, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Av. Brasil, 4365, 21045–900, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. Tel and fax: +011 55 21 280 3740. E-mail: dandrea@gene.dbbm.fiocruz.br

Keywords

The parasitism of Schistosoma mansoni (Digenea–Trematoda) in a naturally infected population of water rats, Nectomys squamipes (Rodentia–Sigmodontinae) in Brazil

  • P. S. D'ANDREA (a1), L. S. MAROJA (a1) (a2), R. GENTILE (a3), R. CERQUEIRA (a3), A. MALDONADO (a1) and L. REY (a1)...

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