Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 6 No. 1

Rattus norvegicus Berkenhout and Zoonoses: A Preliminary Study from Vembanadu Wetlands

Manuel Thomas1, Ramya Kumaran2, K. Abraham Samuel3 and Punnen Kurian4`

1Sr. Gr. Scientist, Tropical Institute of Ecological Sciences, Velloor P.O., K.K Road, Kottayam, Kerala 686 501, India. 2Department of Medical Microbiology, Karuna Medical College, Chittoor, Palghat, India. 3Department of Zoology, CMS College, Kottayam - 686 001, India. 4Department of Zoology, St. Mary’s College, Manarcadu, Kottayam - 686 032, India.

Received on 27 April 2011 and accepted on 30 May 2011



Wetland ecosystems are unique ecologically and incessant human dependence is noted from time immemorial. Water rats (Rattus norvegicus) play a vital role in disease transmission and a study was conducted to assess the pathogenic diversity among water rats (Rattus norvegicus) inhabiting Vembanadu-Kol wetland agroecosystem. A total of twelve bacterial pathogens were isolated from the trapped six water rats including Salmonella enterica, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus. Fifteen fungal pathogens were isolated including two dermatophytes (Microsporum audouinii and Trichophyton rubrum). Genus Aspergillus was more predominant representing four species. The presence of Trichosoporon biegelii was observed in both blood and lungs. Six parasites were also identified with more prevalence of Ancylostoma duodenalae (100%) followed by Hymenolepis diminuta (66.67%). As human-water-rat contact is inevitable in wetland ecosystem, the presence of pathogens in rats inhabiting in it are a matter of serious concern.

Keywords : Zoonoses, Rats, Wetland, Agro-ecosystem, Vembanadu.