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Trypanosoma from rodents as potential source of infection in human-shaped landscapes of South-East Asia

Pumhom P., Morand S., Tran A., Jittapalapong S., Desquesnes M.. 2015. Veterinary Parasitology, 208 (3-4) : p. 174-180.

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.12.027

Reports of atypical human cases of Trypanosoma lewisi or T. lewisi-like and Trypanosoma evansi infections have increased in South-East Asia, urging to investigate the possible links between humans, animal reservoirs and habitats. We tested how habitat structure affects the infection by Trypanosoma species of common murine rodents, inhabiting human-dominated landscapes in South East Asia. For this, we used geo-referenced data of rodents investigated for Trypanosoma infection and land cover maps produced for seven study sites in Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR. High prevalence of infection by T. lewisi was observed in rodents living near human settlement and in areas with high cover of built-up habitat, while the infection of rodents by T. evansi was explained by increased landscape patchiness and high cover of rain-fed agriculture lands. These results suggest a likely role of wild rodents as reservoir and possible source of atypical human infection by animal trypanosomes.

Mots-clés : trypanosoma lewisi; trypanosoma evansi; genre humain; maladie de l'homme; rodentia; rongeur; habitat; couverture végétale; hôte; animal sauvage; asie du sud-est; thaïlande; cambodge; république démocratique populaire lao

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