HomeInternational Rice Research Notesvol. 31 no. 1 (2006)

Endo- and ectoparasites of the Philippine rice field rat, Rattus tanezumi Temminck, on PhilRice farms

M.m. Antolin | R. C. Joshi | L. S. Sebastian | L.v. Marquez | U.g. Duque

Discipline: Biology, Agriculture



The Philippine rice field rat, Rattus tanezumi Temminck, is one of the principal pre- and postharvest pests of rice and other agricultural crops. This species usually thrives in lowland and upland rice fields but can also be found in or near places of human habitation. They damage agricultural crops and also serve as reservoir hosts for diseases of certain human and domestic animals caused by helminths, protozoans, and microbes.

Many endoparasites infecting the different viscera of R. tanezumi belong to taxonomic groups Nematoda (roundworms), Cestoda (tapeworms), and Trematoda (flukes). The more important ones are those that are transmissible to humans. In contrast, there have been few reports on the ectoparasites that infest these rats. These are the mites, ticks, and fleas, some of which may serve as vectors of microbial infections to humans and domestic animals.

Rattus tanezumi is an alternative meat source for the rural folk. Rat meat is a favorite accompaniment to alcoholic beverages during drinking sprees. Unknowingly, some zoonotic infections can be transmitted to humans through improperly cooked rat meat and viscera, accidental wound contamination with rat urine, or rat bites during handling and precooking preparations