Helminth fauna of Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout, 1769 from the Belgrade area, Serbia
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The aims of this study were to provide baseline knowledge about intestinal parasites in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) that inhabit the Belgrade area, and to analyze the associations among helminths. Of 302 trapped rats, 52% were females and 48% males, with 39% and approx. 37% of juvenile-subadult individuals, per sex, respectively. The following parasites were detected (with their respective prevalence): Cestoda - Hymenolepis diminuta (30.46%) and Rodentolepis fraterna (12.58%); Nematoda - Heterakis spumosa (36.75%), Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (16.22%), Capillaria sp. (5.96%), Trichuris muris (5.96%), Syphacia muris (4.30%) and Strongylus sp. larvae (0.33%). Flukes (Trematoda) were not recorded. Of all examined rats, 68.54% were found to harbor at least one parasite species, with higher prevalence in male hosts and in adult individuals. There were no age-related differences in the prevalence of infection with individual helminth species. Multiple infections occurred with up to four species per rat showing different combinations of parasite infections. These are the first records of the gastrointestinal helminth fauna of Norway rats in Serbia.