Flatworm (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda, Trematoda) parasites of mouse-like rodents in Serbia

Božana Tošić, Borislav Čabrilo, Jelena Blagojević, Milan Miljević, Marija Rajičić, Olivera Bjelić-Čabrilo


A total of 231 individual mouse-like rodents (striped field mice Apodemus agrarius, yellow-necked mice A. flavicollis and common voles Microtus arvalis) from five localities in Serbia were subjected to parasitological research. Seven helminth species were identified based on morphological and morphometric criteria: two trematodes (Brachylaimus recurvus and B. apodemi) and five cestodes (Hymenolepis fraterna, H. diminuta, H. straminea, Paranoplocephala omphalodes and Skrjabinotaenia lobata). Total sample prevalence was 15.1% (14.9% in female and 15.4% in male hosts) with a significantly higher number of infected A. agrarius specimens than infected A. flavicollis specimens. Furthermore, the studied Apodemus host species differed in parasite species richness. Yellow-necked mice served as hosts for five flatworm species, while in striped field mice only three species were found. The species that infected the highest number of hosts was H. fraterna. The trematodes B. recurvus and B. apodemi are reported in Serbia for the first time. We highlight the presence of two species with zoonotic potential, H. fraterna and H. diminuta, in the sample of Apodemus hosts, pointing to a need for future monitoring.

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