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Rodents of Senegal and their role as intermediate hosts of Hydatigera spp. (Cestoda: Taeniidae)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 August 2018

Stefano Catalano*
Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases (CEEED), Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield AL9 7TA, UK
Khalilou Bâ
Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations (CBGP), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Campus ISRA-IRD Bel Air, Dakar BP1386, Senegal
Nicolas D. Diouf
Unité de Formation et de Recherche (UFR) des Sciences Agronomiques, d'Aquaculture et de Technologies Alimentaires (S2ATA), Université Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis BP234, Senegal Institut Supérieur de Formation Agricole et Rurale (ISFAR), Université de Thiès, Bambey BP54, Senegal
Elsa Léger
Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases (CEEED), Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield AL9 7TA, UK
Guilherme G. Verocai
Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Joanne P. Webster
Centre for Emerging, Endemic and Exotic Diseases (CEEED), Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hatfield AL9 7TA, UK
Author for correspondence: Stefano Catalano, E-mail:


Hydatigera (Cestoda: Taeniidae) is a recently resurrected genus including species seldom investigated in sub-Saharan Africa. We surveyed wild small mammal populations in the areas of Richard Toll and Lake Guiers, Senegal, with the objective to evaluate their potential role as intermediate hosts of larval taeniid stages (i.e. metacestodes). Based on genetic sequences of a segment of the mitochondrial DNA gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI), we identified Hydatigera parva metacestodes in 19 out of 172 (11.0%) Hubert's multimammate mice (Mastomys huberti) and one out of six (16.7%) gerbils (Taterillus sp.) and Hydatigera taeniaeformis sensu stricto metacestodes in one out of 215 (0.5%) Nile rats (Arvicanthis niloticus). This study reports epidemiological and molecular information on H. parva and H. taeniaeformis in West African rodents, further supporting the phylogeographic hypothesis on the African origin of H. parva. Our findings may indicate significant trophic interactions contributing to the local transmission of Hydatigera spp. and other parasites with similar life-cycle mechanisms. We therefore propose that further field investigations of rodent population dynamics and rodent-borne infectious organisms are necessary to improve our understanding of host–parasite associations driving the transmission risks of rodent parasites in West Africa.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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