Intestinal Parasites in Wild Rates

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Intestinal Parasites in Wild Rates

Introduction

Mauritius is a small island of 1865 km2 situated 900 km east of the Malagasy Republic in the southern Indian Ocean The island was found to be suitable as a port of call for traders travelling along the famous Spice Route from Europe round the Cape of Good Hope to the East Indies and was named East India trade route The Dutch introduced sugarcane orange trees mango trees rice and tobacco during their stay in Mauritius They also brought deer from Java rabbits sheep chickens and ducks httpmauritiusgenosycom

The island has been much altered under various colonial powers The Dutch French and British cleared the dense forests that covered the island leaving very few areas of intact forest which are found in the highland and in the southwest and these have been invaded by exotic species such as wild plants and various introduced species eg black rats and pigs John A N Parnell et al 1989 http knowbritaincom Black rats were introduced in Mauritius probably by the Europeans in the 15th century when they were visiting the island These rats were found in their vessels and they escaped and invaded the forests httpbooksgooglemu

Plague was introduced in Mauritius by rats which were in Indian vessels trading with the island The first case of genuine plague in Mauritius was discovered in PortLouis and was confirmed by blood analysis The victim died 24 hours after having been attacked In February 1899 an outbreak of bubonic plague was reported in PortLouis This affected badly the island as the victims houses were burnt affected people were sent to the segregated ranches outside of town Suspects were put in quarantine in the suburbs of PortLouis This had a very bad effect on the economy and the local inhabitants John C Campbell 1899

Recently in Mauritius two employees of the airport of Plaisance died on 17 July 2013 and 14 August 2013 of leptospirosis Another patient suspected of having contracted leptospirosis was admitted to a hospital in Mahebourg The latter was working in a security company at Plaisance airportThese cases have aroused as the airport was under construction forcing the wild rats to leave their natural habitats and live in proximity to humans The three patients exhibited the same symptoms namely muscle aches vomiting and high feverhttpenindianoceantimescom

Types of rats

Rats are highly opportunistic prolific mobile troublesome and damaging rodents that have capitalized on human movements to conquer most continents and a variety of habitats They are considered as pests in many countries as they destroy crops eat and contaminate food damage structures and properties disturb the ecological cycle and transmit diseases and parasites to other animals and humans Andrea Paparini et al 2012 R M Timm et al 2011

There are two main rat speciesworldwide and these are
Rattus norvegicus also known as the Norway or brown rat
Rattus rattus also known asthe roof or black rat httppestcontrol


Classification


Norway rats

Black rats


Kingdom

Animalia

Animalia


Phylum

Chordata

Chordata


Subphylum

Vertebrata

Vertebrata


Class

Mammalia

Mammalia


Order

Rodentia

Rodentia


Family

Muridae

Muridae


Genus

Rattus

Rattus


Species

Rattus norvegicus

Rattus rattus



Table 11 Classification of the Norway and Black rats httpbiologycornercom


Characteristics

Norway rats

Black rats


General appearance

Large and robust

Sleek and agile


Color

Grey

Grey to white


Weight

198 510 grams

141 283 grams


Tail

Shorter than body

Longer than their heads and bodies combined


Head

Blunt muzzle

Pointed muzzle


Ears

Small

Long enough to reach eyes if folded over


Habitat

They usually live in the basement or ground floor of buildings in moist areas especially in gardens and fields for example in sugarcane fields and near rivulets and beneath rubbish or woodpiles

Their

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