Seven of the 18 species of lowland forest terrestrial and semi-arboreal murids were found naturally infected with Breinlia booliati. Of these, two species, Rattus sabanus and R. cremoriventer, were found to be the most preferred hosts. None of the murids from the highland, field or human-inhabited areas was infected. This could have been due more to the greater scarcity of the vectors in these habitats than to the susceptibility of the hosts. The absence of this parasite in the squirrels examined may be attributed either to host specificity or to the normal activity cycles or vertical stratification of the vectors, separating them in space and/or time from the squirrels. The pattern of dispersion of the parasite is influenced by the wide distribution of suitable hosts, and the hypothesis that the parasite is of forest origin is discussed.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.