Int J Environ Health Res. 2008 Jun;18(3):177-85
The urban house mouse (Mus domesticus) as a reservoir of infection for the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii: an unrecognised public health issue?
Murphy RG, Williams RH, Hughes JM, Hide G, Ford NJ, Oldbury DJ.
Built and Human Research Institute, University of Salford.
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite capable of infecting almost all warm-blooded animals. The cat is the definitive host and becomes infected by consuming contaminated meat or infected prey. Humans can act as intermediate hosts and in healthy individuals the infection is mild and self-limiting. In pregnant women it can cause spontaneous abortions and foetal abnormalities and is capable of inducing serious illness in immuno-compromised patients. In infested dwellings, mice could act as intermediate hosts and play a role in the persistence/propagation of the disease. A total of 200 mice were trapped alive in 27 infested properties in Manchester, UK, and screened for Toxoplasma infection; 59% tested positive. Evidence of vertical transmission from infected dams to foetus was found, possibly maintaining the infection in urban areas. These findings have important implications when considering approaches to rodent control.
PMID: 18569146 [PubMed - in process]