Studies on rodents role as reservoir hosts of leishmaniasis with specical reference to their ectoparasites in Suez Governorate


Shoukry, N.M.; El-Naggar, M.H.; Darwish, A.B.; Soliman, B.A.; El-Sawaf, B.M.

Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology 36(1): 93-106

2006


The distribution of rodents was studied in three different habitats. Seven rodent species were identified: Rattus norvegicus, R. alexandrinus, R. frugivorous, Mus musculus, Acomys russatus, Meriones sacramenti and Gerbillus pyramidum. The species distribution varied with the habitat type. The highest density of rodents was in July and August and the lowest one was in January. However, some species were collected all the year round. The rodents were investigated for the endo- and ecto-parasites. No Leishmania parasites were found. The ectoparasites were: Xenopsylla cheopis, Leptopsylla segnis and Ctenocephalides felis, Polyplax spinulos, Hyalomma dromedarii (nymph) and Echinolaelaps echidninus and Hemolaelaps glassgowi. Ecto-parasites were on rodents all year-round in domestic habitat and peridomestic habitats. In wild one, ecto-parasites activity was from March to December. The rodents' role as reservoir for L. major was experimentally studied. Rodents inoculated with L. major together with hamster and BALB-c mice developed cutaneous lesions. The active lesions, the rodents' ecological habitats and the presence of insect-vector may pave the way to an epidemic zoonotic leishmaniasis role.