Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 1775–1783 | Cite as

Trypomastigotes and potential flea vectors of the endemic rodents and the introduced Rattus rattus in the rainforests of Madagascar

  • Juha Laakkonen
  • Steven M. Goodman
  • Jean-Bernard Duchemin
  • Jean-Marc Duplantier


Transmission of parasites and diseases may be one of the mechanisms for the displacement of native and endemic rodents of Madagascar (subfamily Nesomyinae) by the introduced Rattus rattus (subfamily Murinae). We studied the occurrence of trypomastigotes in rodents at several rainforest sites on the island. Examination of blood smears showed Trypanosoma lewisi-like trypomastigotes in 11.5% of the R. rattus (n = 52). Trypomastigotes differing in morphology from those of T. lewisi were detected in 4% of the endemic rodent Nesomys rufus (n = 23). In contrast to the relatively heavy infections found in R. rattus, only a few trypomastigotes were found in the infected N. rufus. Trypomastigotes were not found in other nesomyine rodents including Eliurus minor (n = 18), E. tanala (n = 15), E. grandidieri (n = 12), E. majori (n = 9) or E. webbi (n = 9). Of potential vectors of trypomastigotes, six endemic species of fleas were identified from the rodents.

Fleas Invasion Madagascar Murinae Nesomyinae Rodents Trypanosoma 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juha Laakkonen
  • Steven M. Goodman
  • Jean-Bernard Duchemin
  • Jean-Marc Duplantier

There are no affiliations available

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