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The prevalence of infection of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. in wild animals on farmland, southeastern North Island, New Zealand

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Giardia spp. cysts were detected in the faeces of 23.6% of 76 possums ( Trichosurus vulpecula ), 42.1% of 19 ship rats ( Rattus rattus ), 30.5% of 46 house mice ( Mus musculus ), 33.3% of 6 hedgehogs ( Erinaceus europaeus ), 33.3% of 3 ferrets ( Mustela furo ), 20% of 5 rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus ), 35% of 20 blackbirds ( Turdus merula ), 50% of 14 thrushes ( Turdus philomelos ), 15.4% of 104 sparrows ( Passer domesticus ), 60% of 10 chaffinches ( Fringilla coelebs ), and 14.3% of 14 hedge sparrows ( Prunella modularis ) trapped on two farms in the Dannevirke area, southeastern North Island, New Zealand. Cryptosporidium cysts were detected in 12.8% of 39 possums, 37.5% of 8 ship rats, 11.8% of 17 house mice, 8.2% of 61 house sparrows, 21.4% of 14 thrushes and 1 of 2 starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris ) from the same area. Although one of the two farms had a history of human Giardia infection, no significant differences were found between the prevalence of Giardia in wild animals on the farms. There was a significantly lower prevalence of Cryptosporidium than Giardia in the wild animals tested. The role of wild animals in maintaining and spreading Giardia and Cryptosporidium in New Zealand is discussed.
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Keywords: CRYPTOSPORIDIUM SPP; GIARDIA SPP; PARASITE; PROTOZOA; WILDLIFE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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