How to avoid tetanus

Humid, thermally stable soil swarms with many microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoans), eggs, and larval stages of diverse helminths and arthropods, many of which are pathogens. A renowned representative is Clostridium tetani, a bacterium that is particularly prevalent in soil contaminated with animal droppings and that, after entering wounds, causes a serious disease, tetanus. Subterranean mammals are para-sitologically understudied, and the results are inconsistent and do not allow any generalization. Many more factors probably influence whether an animal will be infected or infested by parasites. Higher lung infection by adiaspores of Emmonsia parva was reported in burrowing voles, as compared to more surface-dwelling mice. Yet, the preliminary examination of Spalax and Cryptomys provided variable, inconsistent results. The ectoparasites in African mole-rats are, however, very rare, and infestation with endoparasitic helminths is unusual. Surely, the examination of the immune system of subterranean mammals may be of great interest and importance for human medicine. At least, the few existing studies of Spalax do suggest the opening of new research horizons.

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