An investigation on the presence of larval cestodes in musk rats (Ondatra zibethicus) was carried out in two regions of the Netherlands (east Groningen and south Limburg) where in a earlier study foxes with Echinococcus multilocularis were found. A total of 1726 musk rats were dissected (1200 in Groningen, 526 in Limburg). Larval stages of Taenia taeniaeformis were most frequently found (total 44.8%: Groningen 42%, Limburg 51.3%), followed by T. martis (total 6.1%: Groningen 0.7%, Limburg 18.6%). Infections with T. crassiceps (total 0.3%: Groningen 0%, Limburg 1.0%), T. polyacantha (total 0.2%; Groningen 0.3%, Limburg 0%) and E. multilocularis (0.1%: Groningen 0.1%, Limburg 0%) were rare. Infections with T. taeniaeformis were more frequent in adults (71.8%) than in juveniles (34.2%). The same was found for T. martis: adults 15.3%, juveniles 2.5%. This difference was also reflected in the relation between weight of the animals and presence of infection. Heavier animals (>1000 g) were more often infected with T. taeniaeformis (74.1%) than animals less than 1000 g (34.8%). In musk rats weighing less than 500 g (n=155) only 5.2% were infected, but above 1200 g, 82.6%. The highest number of T. taeniaeformis was 28, of T. martis 13, of T. crassiceps >1000 and of T. polyacantha 24. The E. multilocularis was in a very young stage, a few white spots in the liver. Although E. multilocularis infections were exceptional, it is expected that with a rise in the number of infected foxes in the Netherlands the number of infected musk rats will increase.
- foxes vulpes-vulpes
- alveolar echinococcosis
- lower saxony
- first record
Borgsteede, F. H. M., Tibben, J. H., & van der Giessen, J. W. B. (2003). The musk rat (Ondatra zibethicus) as intermediate host of cestodes in the Netherlands. Veterinary Parasitology, 117(1-2), 29-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2003.07.015