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Volume 46, Number 2, April 2013

Study of the endoparasitic fauna of commensal rats and shrews caught in traditional wet markets in Taichung City, Taiwan 

Kwong-Chung Tung, Fun-Chun Hsiao, Kai-Sung Wang, Cheng-Hsiung Yang, Cheng-Hung Lai

Received: January 10, 2011    Revised: October 16, 2011    Accepted: April 20, 2012   


Corresponding author:

Corresponding author. Cheng-Hung Lai, Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, 250
Kuo-Kuang Road, Taichung 402, Taiwan.
E-mail address: (C.-H. Lai). 


Background and purpose: 

Rats live in close proximity to human populations. Feral rodents are known to transmit diseases and act as reservoir hosts to many zoonotic parasites that pose health risks to humans. The aim of this study is to investigate endoparasitic infections in commensal rats and shrews caught in traditional wet markets in Taichung City, Taiwan. 



A total of 51 commensal wild rodents and shrews were caught in traditional wet markets in Taichung City, including 32 Rattus norvegicus, 11 R. rattus, and eight Suncus murinus. All tissues, organs, and intestinal contents were carefully examined after euthanasia for the detection of parasites. 



The overall prevalence of infection was 94.1%, and the infection rates in R. norvegicus, R. rattus, and S. murinus were 93.8%, 90.9%, and 100.0%, respectively. Four cestodes (Taenia taeniaeformis, Hymenolepis diminuta, H. nana, and Raillietina celebensis), seven nematodes (Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Capillaria hepatica, Heterakis spumosa, Nippostrongylus brasiliensis, Strongyloides ratti, Syphacia muris, and Trichosomoides crassicauda), and one protozoan (Sarcocystis spp.) were detected. 



Our findings indicate that commensal rodents and shrews found in the traditional wet markets of Taichung City are hosts to various zoonotic parasites and, therefore, pose a serious health risk to humans and domestic animals in Taiwan. 


Key words:

Endoparasites, Rodents, Traditional wet markets