Parasitological Infestations

Laboratory animals should be free of parasites. These may not have obvious clinical impact on the animals, but they have subclinical impact and may interfere with research in various ways. Also, parasitic infestations are symptomatic of low hygienic standards, and infestated animals may be suspected also to carry other types of infections. Important parasites in rodents and rabbits are listed in Table 11.3. The most common parasites found in laboratory rodents are the flagellates Tritrichomonas spp., but these also seem to have low impact on the animals. Pinworms and mites are also common findings. Encephalitozoon cuniculi has become more rare in colonies of rabbits and guinea pigs, but when it occurs, it does have a certain impact on research.

Table 11.3 Parasitic Infestations Observed in Mice (M), Rats (R), Guinea Pigs (GP), Syrian or Chinese Hamsters (H), and Rabbits (RB)

Mastigophora (Flagellates)

Table 11.3 Parasitic Infestations Observed in Mice (M), Rats (R), Guinea Pigs (GP), Syrian or Chinese Hamsters (H), and Rabbits (RB)

Mastigophora (Flagellates)

Chilomastix spp.

R,H,RB

Giardia spp.

M,R,GP,H,RB

Spironucleus muris

M,R,H

Tritrichomonas spp.

M,R,GP,H

Tetratrichomonas minuta

M,R,H

Pentatrichomas homonis

M,R,H

Trichomitis spp.

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