Capillaria hepatica is a parasitic nematode that infects the liver of rats (Rattus spp.), and occasionally other mammalian species, including humans. Despite its broad geographic distribution and host range, the ecology of this parasite remains poorly understood. We characterized the ecology of C. hepatica in urban Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) in Vancouver, Canada. The overall prevalence of C. hepatica among Norway rats was 36% (241/671); however, there was significant variation in prevalence among city blocks. Using a generalized linear mixed model to control for clustering by block (where OR is odds ratio and CI is confidence interval), we found C. hepatica infection was negatively associated with season (spring [OR = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.05–0.39]; summer [OR = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.03–0.61]; winter [OR = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.13–0.84], compared to fall) and positively associated with sexual maturity (OR: 7.29, 95% CI = 3.98–13.36) and presence of cutaneous bite wounds (OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.11–3.16). Our understanding of the ecology of C. hepatica in rats is hindered by a paucity of data regarding the main mechanisms of transmission (e.g., environmental exposure vs. active cannibalism). However, associations among infection, season, maturity, and bite wounds could suggest that social interactions, possibly including cannibalism, may be important in transmission.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 50 • No. 3