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Potential Helminth Infections in Humans from Pet or Laboratory Mice and Hamsters

Ward B. Stone and Reginald D. Manwell
Public Health Reports (1896-1970)
Vol. 81, No. 7 (Jul., 1966), pp. 647-653
DOI: 10.2307/4592796
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4592796
Page Count: 7
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Potential Helminth Infections in Humans from Pet or Laboratory Mice and Hamsters
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Abstract

A study of intestinal parasites was made on 202 mice and 58 hamsters obtained from vendors to laboratories and from the Syracuse University zoology department's animal room. Also surveyed were 58 mice and 27 hamsters sold as pets. Syphacia obvelata parasitized 75 percent of the mice and 60 percent of the hamsters from commercial dealers and the animal room. Also infected with S. obvelata were 53 percent of the mice and 78 percent of the hamsters sold as pets. Aspiculuris tetraptera was found in 30 percent of the mice from laboratory suppliers and 62 percent of those from pet dealers. Hymenolepis nana parasitized 21 percent of the mice supplied for laboratory use and 66 percent of those sold as pets. Hamsters from pet shops and department stores were 44 percent parasitized by H. nana, and those obtained from commercial dealers and the animal room had an overall infection rate of 9 percent. Because H. nana is infective to man, the high incidence of this parasite in pet and laboratory rodents is important. The heavy parasitization of rodents from pet stores was consistent with the unsanitary conditions under which many of the animals were kept. It is almost impossible to obtain routinely parasite-free hamsters and mice for research. Some of these parasites may act as variables in investigations, and researchers should be aware of their presence.

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