Spatial and Seasonal Distribution of Holochilus sciureus with Schistosoma mansoni Infection in an Endemic Area for Schistosomiasis in Brazil
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The occurrence of wild rodents in the Schistosoma mansoni life cycle may increase the transmission of schistosomiasis and understanding the spatial and seasonal distribution of the natural infection of these reservoirs is essential for the development of more effective control strategies.
Material and methods
In this study, Holochilus sciureus rodents were captured from the flooded fields of São Bento city (an endemic area for schistosomiasis in Northeast Brazil), during the dry and rainy seasons. All these sites were georeferenced and the prevalence of S. mansoni was verified by the presence of adult worms in the mesenteric branches and livers of each animal.
It was demonstrated that almost half of the animals collected were naturally infected with S. mansoni (45.45%) and this infection was not related to the distance from urban areas. Furthermore, the temperature, precipitation, sex, and weight did not interfere with the H. sciureus infection rates. Interestingly, we found, for the first time, the natural infection of H. sciureus in another endemic city of S. mansoni in Northeast Brazil.
Therefore, the H. sciureus rodent shows a high natural infection rate for S. mansoni in the flooded fields of São Bento, regardless of the weather station, capture distance, and biological aspects. Additionally, we have demonstrated that H. sciureus naturally parasitized with S. mansoni may inhabit a much more extensive area that is currently described in the literature.
KeywordsReservoir Rodents Schistosomiasis
We thank the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico do Maranhão – FAPEMA for financial support.
NSS conceived the idea. CFCS, ATR, RFSS, JGMR, MGSL, RAN, DVM, GSM, and NSS performed the laboratory experiments and field collections. CFCS, JGMR, DTC, and GSM designed and analyzed the data. DTC created the maps and designed the figures. GSM and NSS supervised the overall project. CFCS, GSM, and NSS wrote the manuscript with suggestions from all the other co-authors.
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