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1 February 2005 Spatial Variation of Trichinella Prevalence in Rats in Finnish Waste Disposal Sites
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Trichinellosis is 1 of the most widespread parasitic zoonoses in the world and can be lethal to humans. Trichinella spp. are also parasites of considerable economic importance. Because rats may play a role in the transmission of trichinellosis to swine and farmed wild boar, 767 brown rats (Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout) from 13 Finnish waste disposal sites were examined for Trichinella spp. by a HCl–pepsin digestion method. Trichinella spp. were found to be a common parasite in trapped rats (overall prevalence, 19%) detected in 12 of 13 dumps. Significant differences were observed between sites in the prevalence (0–49%) of Trichinella spp. Female rats were more often and more heavily infected than males, but age was not shown to be a risk factor for trichinellosis. In addition, positive correlation was demonstrated between rat population density and prevalence. Trichinella spiralis was identified by multiplex polymerase chain reaction in 28 rats. The median density of infection was 42 (range, 0.5–6,925) larvae/ g of host tissue, but neither the occurrence nor the density of the parasite was related to the physical condition of the animal.

T. Mikkonen, J. Valkama, H. Wihlman, and A. Sukura "Spatial Variation of Trichinella Prevalence in Rats in Finnish Waste Disposal Sites," Journal of Parasitology 91(1), 210-213, (1 February 2005).
Published: 1 February 2005

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