Endoparasites of the spiny mouse (Acomys spinosissimus) from South Africa

04 Jul 2014

The endoparasite fauna of the spiny mouse (Acomys spinosissimus) was studied for the first time from April 2007 until April 2009 in a population from the Limpopo Province of South Africa. In a total of 129 mice examined, only 6 endoparasite taxa were found, 2 nematode species (Syphacia minuta, Monanema joopi), 1 genus of cestodes (Rodentolepis spp.), and unidentified hymenolepidid fragments. In addition, 1 pentastomid species (Armillifer grandis) as well as unidentified porocephalid specimens were recovered. The overall prevalence was low, at 15.5%, and only 1 individual harbored more than 1 parasite species. With 12.4% prevalence, S. minuta was the most prevalent parasite. Its prevalence and abundance were significantly higher during the dry and cooler season than during the wet and warm season, while a female-biased burden was observed during the wet season only. For the remaining parasite species, low prevalence prevented meaningful statistical analyses. The observed parasite species richness, prevalence, and abundance for A. spinosissimus were low compared to values reported for other Acomys spp. This may be linked to the lack of anthropogenic influences in the study population as well as the small size of A. spinosissimus.