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Aboriginal and invasive rats of Genus Rattus as hosts of infectious agents

Kosoy M., Khlyap L., Cosson J.F., Morand S.. 2015. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 15 (1) : p. 3-12.

From the perspective of ecology of zoonotic pathogens, the role of the Old World rats of the genus Rattus is exceptional. The review analyzes specific characteristics of rats that contribute to their important role in hosting pathogens, such as host-pathogen relations and rates of rat-borne infections, taxonomy, ecology, and essential factors. Specifically the review addresses recent taxonomic revisions within the genus Rattus that resulted from applications of new genetic tools in understanding relationships between the Old World rats and the infectious agents that they carry. Among the numerous species within the genus Rattus, only three species-the Norway rat (R. norvegicus), the black or roof rat (R. rattus), and the Asian black rat (R. tanezumi)-have colonized urban ecosystems globally for a historically long period of time. The fourth invasive species, R. exulans, is limited to tropical Asia-Pacific areas. One of the points highlighted in this review is the necessity to discriminate the roles played by rats as pathogen reservoirs within the land of their original diversification and in regions where only one or few rat species were introduced during the recent human history. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Organismes nuisibles des animaux; Maladies des animaux; Ecologie animale

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