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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3263868, 5 pages
Research Article

Protozoan Parasites of Rodents and Their Zoonotic Significance in Boyer-Ahmad District, Southwestern Iran

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Received 30 September 2015; Revised 24 January 2016; Accepted 28 January 2016

Academic Editor: Remo Lobetti

Copyright © 2016 Zeinab Seifollahi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Backgrounds. Wild rodents are reservoirs of various zoonotic diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, and leishmaniasis. The current study aimed to assess the protozoan infection of rodents in Boyer-Ahmad district, southwestern Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 52 rodents were collected from different parts of Boyer-Ahmad district, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, using Sherman live traps. Each rodent was anesthetized with ether, according to the ethics of working with animals, and was dissected. Samples were taken from various tissues and stool samples were collected from the contents of the colon and small intestines. Moreover, 2 to 5 mL of blood was taken from each of the rodents and the sera were examined for anti-Leishmania antibodies, by ELISA, or anti-T. gondii antibodies, by modified agglutination test (MAT). DNA was extracted from brain tissue samples of each rodent and PCR was used to identify the DNA of T. gondii. Results. Of the 52 stool samples of rodents studied by parasitological methods, intestinal protozoa infection was seen in 28 cases (53.8%). From 52 rodents, 19 (36.5%) were infected with Trichomonas, 10 (19.2%) with Giardia muris, and 11 (21.2%) with Entamoeba spp. Also, 10 cases (19.2%) were infected with Blastocystis, 3 (5.8%) were infected with Chilomastix, 7 (13.5%) were infected with Endolimax, 1 (1.9%) was infected with Retortamonas, 3 (5.77%) were infected with T. gondii, and 6 (11.54%) were infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the sera of 5 (9.61%) cases. Results of the molecular study showed T. gondii infection in 3 (5.77%) of the rodents. Findings of this study showed that rodents in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran, are infected with several blood and intestinal parasites; some of them might be potential risks to residents and domestic animals in the region.