Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Subject Categories



College of Science



Thesis Advisor

Mary Jane C. Flores

Defense Panel Chair

Eligio Santiago V. Maghirang

Defense Panel Member

Bridget C. Arellano
Sung-Tae Hong


Soil-transmitted helminthiasis remains to be a major global health issue predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical regions including the Philippines. Individuals residing in impoverished areas that lack proper hygiene and sanitation facilities are highly vulnerable in acquiring these diseases. Rodents and other mammalian species living in close proximity with humans can serve as potential reservoir hosts and may accelerate the spread of these parasitic infections. However, there are only a few data and research regarding the environmental contamination, animal reservoir hosts and zoonotic capacity of these parasites. This study aimed to determine the faunal diversity of helminths and ectoparasites among house rats in selected areas in Metro Manila and CALABARZON. These data and information will be substantial fundamentals to develop efficient long-term approaches to prevent and control the transmission of soil-transmitted helminthiasis in the country. A total of 60 Rattus spp. were captured and grossly examined. The fecal samples of these rats were processed using Formol-Ether Concentration Technique (FECT) and examined microscopically. The overall prevalence of ectoparasites was 71.7% (43/60) and all were lice, identified as Polyplax spinulosa. Of the infestations, 23.3% (14/60) were recorded in Metro Manila while 48.3% (29/60) were recorded in CALABARZON. The overall prevalence rate of the endoparasitic infections was 81.7% (49/60). Of the cases, 41.7% (25/60) were recorded in Metro Manila while 40% (24/60) prevalence was noted in CALABARZON. The endoparasites identified were of three types including a heterokont protozoan: Blastocystis spp. (6.7%), nematodes: Capillaria hepatica (76.7%), Aspiculuris tetraptera (11.7%), Gongylonema spp. (13.3%), Mastophorus muris (10.0%), and Strongyloides spp. (3.3%) and tapeworms: Hymenolepis diminuta (60.0%), Raillietina spp. (11.7%), and Taenia taeniaeformis (56.7%). Capillaria hepatica was the most predominant endoparasite with the highest prevalence and heavy intensity of infection. In terms of zoonosis, the eight identified zoonotic parasites harbored by these Rattus spp., namely Rattus norvegicus and Rattus tanezumi pose a risk in public health as they are important reservoirs of zoonotic helminthiasis that can cause the spread of infection to humans. Therefore, regular monitoring and control of population of rodents are necessary to reduce the distribution of parasites in urban and rural areas.

Abstract Format






Physical Description

89 leaves


Animal diversity--Philippines; Helminths; Helminthiasis; Rattus; Rats; Zoonoses

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