Laboratoire Rodolphe Mérieux de Phnom Penh

Gastrointestinal helminth fauna of rodents from Cambodia: emphasizing the community ecology of host-parasite associations

Chaisiri K, Chou M, Siew CC, Morand S, Ribas A

J Helminthol. 2016 Dec 1:1-13


Extensive field surveys of rodents were conducted in Cambodia from 2008 to 2014 to study the diversity and ecology of helminth infection in wild rodent populations. Gastrointestinal helminths were isolated from 14 species of rodents (569 individuals) trapped from different habitats (forest, dry land, rain-fed land and human settlements) in four provinces of Cambodia (Krong Preah Sihanouk, Mondolkiri, Pursat and Steung Treng). The average prevalence of parasitic infection was 58.5% (range, 16.0-64.7%), and 19 helminth taxa were identified in total. Trichostrongylid nematodes were the most prevalent (25.8%), followed by Raillietina sp. (14.1%), Gongylonema neoplasticum (10.7%), Syphacia muris (9.8%) and Hymenolepis diminuta (9.6%). Potential rodent-borne zoonotic helminths were also identified, and the risks of helminthiasis were discussed. The status of helminth infection and species diversity in rodents from settlements were significantly lower than in rodents from forest and peri-domesticated habitats, which indicates that habitat alteration might affect helminth infection and diversity in rodent hosts. Generalized linear models revealed that host attributes (host species and maturity) and environmental factors (habitat and geographical location) were explanatory variables for helminth infection in these rodents. Using network analyses, we showed that the oriental house rat, Rattus tanezumi, was the most central host in the rodent-helminth assemblage, based on the number of helminth taxa it shared with other rodent species. Therefore, R. tanezumi could play an important role in rodent-helminth interactions and helminth transmission to other rodent hosts.

View article