Prevalence of Hepatozoon and Sarcocystis spp. in rodents and their ectoparasites in Nigeria

Joshua Kamani*, Shimon Harrus, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Ricardo Gutiérrez, Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Using polymerase chain reaction targeting the 18S rRNA gene and DNA sequencing the prevalence and diversity of Apicomplexa and Piroplasmida infections in rodents from Nigeria was studied. Overall, 13 of 194 (7.7%) rodent blood samples tested were positive for Hepatozoon spp. while 2 (1.0%) were positive for Sarcocystis dispersa. Hepatozoon spp. DNA was detected in all the rodentspecies tested except Neotoma spp., and was most prevalent (50%) in the African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus), followed by Mus musculus (18.2%), Rattus rattus (6.3%) and Rattus norvegicus (4.1%). The Hepatozoon spp. DNA sequences from the rodents were 98–100% identical to each other and to Hepatozoon spp. DNA sequence from small mammals deposited in GenBank. Five of the sequences from R. rattus (n = 2) and R. norvegicus (n = 3) were 98–99% identical to Hepatozoon felis (KY649442.1). Sarcocystis dispersa DNA was detected in one R. rattus (2.1%) and one R. norvegicus (0.8%). These findings suggest that rodents are involved in endemic cycles of Hepatozoon spp. and Sarcocystis spp. agents of veterinary importance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)124-128
Number of pages5
JournalActa Tropica
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Ectoparasites
  • Hepatozoon spp.
  • Nigeria
  • PCR
  • Rodents
  • Sarcocystisdispersa


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