Invasive species have a detrimental impact on native populations, particularly in island ecosystems, and they pose a potential zoonotic and wildlife threat. Black rats (Rattus rattus) are invasive species that disrupt native flora and fauna on islands and serve as potential competent reservoirs for various pathogens and parasites. Microparasites screening was conducted in rat populations from small islands in central Italy (the Pontine Islands and Pianosa) with the aim of assessing the role of rats in maintaining infections, particularly in cases where key reservoir hosts were scarce or absent. We focused on microparasites of zoonotic and veterinary relevance. A total of 53 rats was kill-trapped and target tissues were analysed with molecular techniques. We observed the absence or very low prevalence of Anaplasma spp., while Babesia was found in rats from all locations, marking the first recorded instance of Babesia divergens in wild rats. Data from Pianosa strongly suggest the presence of an autochthonous Leishmania infantum cycle in the Tuscan archipelago islands. Neospora caninum was absent from all islands, even in areas where dogs, the main reservoirs, were present. Toxoplasma gondii was only recorded on the Pontine Islands, where genotyping is needed to shed light on infection dynamics. This study confirms that invasive species, such as rats, may be responsible for maintaining an increased parasitological threat to fauna and human communities in certain ecosystems.

Zoonotic Microparasites in Invasive Black Rats (Rattus rattus) from Small Islands in Central Italy / Zanet, Stefania; Occhibove, Flavia; Capizzi, Dario; Fratini, Sara; Giannini, Francesca; Hoida, Avner Dan; Sposimo, Paolo; Valentini, Flaminia; Ferroglio, Ezio. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - ELETTRONICO. - 13:(2023), pp. 3279.0-3279.0. [10.3390/ani13203279]

Zoonotic Microparasites in Invasive Black Rats (Rattus rattus) from Small Islands in Central Italy

Fratini, Sara
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2023

Abstract

Invasive species have a detrimental impact on native populations, particularly in island ecosystems, and they pose a potential zoonotic and wildlife threat. Black rats (Rattus rattus) are invasive species that disrupt native flora and fauna on islands and serve as potential competent reservoirs for various pathogens and parasites. Microparasites screening was conducted in rat populations from small islands in central Italy (the Pontine Islands and Pianosa) with the aim of assessing the role of rats in maintaining infections, particularly in cases where key reservoir hosts were scarce or absent. We focused on microparasites of zoonotic and veterinary relevance. A total of 53 rats was kill-trapped and target tissues were analysed with molecular techniques. We observed the absence or very low prevalence of Anaplasma spp., while Babesia was found in rats from all locations, marking the first recorded instance of Babesia divergens in wild rats. Data from Pianosa strongly suggest the presence of an autochthonous Leishmania infantum cycle in the Tuscan archipelago islands. Neospora caninum was absent from all islands, even in areas where dogs, the main reservoirs, were present. Toxoplasma gondii was only recorded on the Pontine Islands, where genotyping is needed to shed light on infection dynamics. This study confirms that invasive species, such as rats, may be responsible for maintaining an increased parasitological threat to fauna and human communities in certain ecosystems.
2023
13
0
0
Zanet, Stefania; Occhibove, Flavia; Capizzi, Dario; Fratini, Sara; Giannini, Francesca; Hoida, Avner Dan; Sposimo, Paolo; Valentini, Flaminia; Ferrogl...espandi
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1347402
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