Parasitological surveillance in a rat (Rattus norvegicus) colony in São Paulo Zoo animal house

Rattus norvegicus (Mammalia: Rodentia) is a widespread and synanthropic rodent, broadly used in medical experiments. It can also be used for feeding captive animals in zoos. Parasitological surveys are important to guarantee the health of both the animals and the staff responsible for their management. The aim of this study was to identify intestinal parasites of Rattus norvegicus offered as food to captive animals from São Paulo Zoo, and demonstrate the importance of sanitary hurdling, disease control and biosecurity. The identified protozoan parasites were Eimeria sp., Entamoeba sp., Spironucleus sp., Giardia sp., Tritrichomonas sp., Chilomastix sp., unidentified cysts and non-sporulated coccidians oocysts (Isospora/Eimeria). The following helminths were found: Syphacia muris, Rodentolepis nana and Aspiculuris tetraptera.