Occurrence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Small Mammals from Germany

Affiliation
Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Riebold, Diana;
Affiliation
Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Russow, Kati;
GND
1025894634
Affiliation
Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany.
Schlegel, Matthias;
GND
1056070900
Affiliation
Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany.
Wollny, Theres;
Affiliation
Forstliches Forschungs- und Kompetenzzentrum Gotha, Gotha, Germany.
Thiel, Jörg;
Affiliation
Department of Pest Control, Veterinary Task-Force, Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (LAVES), Wardenburg, Germany.
Freise, Jona;
Affiliation
Institute of Avian Research "Vogelwarte Helgoland," Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
Hüppop, Ommo;
Affiliation
Animal Ecology, Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.
Eccard, Jana Anja;
Affiliation
Division of Hygiene and Infectious Diseases, Institute of Hygiene and Environment, Hamburg, Germany.
Plenge-Bönig, Anita;
Affiliation
Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Loebermann, Micha;
GND
1019565543
Affiliation
Institute of Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany.
Ulrich, Rainer;
Affiliation
Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Klammt, Sebastian;
GND
141505168
Affiliation
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany.
Mettenleiter, Thomas C.;
Affiliation
Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Reisinger, Emil Christian

An increase in zoonotic infections in humans in recent years has led to a high level of public interest. However, the extent of infestation of free-living small mammals with pathogens and especially parasites is not well understood. This pilot study was carried out within the framework of the "Rodent-borne pathogens" network to identify zoonotic parasites in small mammals in Germany. From 2008 to 2009, 111 small mammals of 8 rodent and 5 insectivore species were collected. Feces and intestine samples from every mammal were examined microscopically for the presence of intestinal parasites by using Telemann concentration for worm eggs, Kinyoun staining for coccidia, and Heidenhain staining for other protozoa. Adult helminths were additionally stained with carmine acid for species determination. Eleven different helminth species, five coccidians, and three other protozoa species were detected. Simultaneous infection of one host by different helminths was common. Hymenolepis spp. (20.7%) were the most common zoonotic helminths in the investigated hosts. Coccidia, including Eimeria spp. (30.6%), Cryptosporidium spp. (17.1%), and Sarcocystis spp. (17.1%), were present in 40.5% of the feces samples of small mammals. Protozoa, such as Giardia spp. and amoebae, were rarely detected, most likely because of the repeated freeze-thawing of the samples during preparation. The zoonotic pathogens detected in this pilot study may be potentially transmitted to humans by drinking water, smear infection, and airborne transmission.

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