Helminths Collected From Imported Pet Murids, with Special Reference to Concomitant Infection of the Golden Hamsters with Three Pinworm Species of the GenusSyphacia(Nematoda: Oxyuridae)

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Abstract

A total of 210 individuals of 13 species belonging to 4 subfamilies of Muridae imported into Japan as pets were examined; 5 species of Syphacia (Nematoda: Oxyuridae), Aspiculuris tetraptera (Nematoda: Heteroxynematidae), and Rodentolepis nana (Cestoidea: Hymenolepididae) were collected. Concurrent infection with 3 pinworm species, Syphacia mesocriceti, Syphacia stroma, and Syphacia peromysci, was recorded for the first time in the golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus. Syphacia mesocriceti was also identified in the desert hamster, Phodopus roborovskii, and S. peromysci was recovered from the fat-tailed gerbil, Pachyuromys duprasi, and the Cairo spiny mouse, Acomys cahirinus. From the pygmy mouse, Mus minutoides, an undetermined species closely resembling Syphacia megaloon and Syphacia ohtaorum, both parasitic in Mus spp., was collected. Females of another undetermined Syphacia sp. were observed in the greater Egyptian gerbil, Gerbillus pyramidum. All of the host-Syphacia associations, except S. mesocriceti in the golden hamsters, were recorded for the first time. It is suggested that overlapping breeding situations provided the opportunity for host switching by the pinworms.

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