Ecology of Trypanosoma cruzi and a survey of other parasites in the southern plains woodrat (Neotoma micropus)
Charles, Roxanne Albertha
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Trypanosoma cruzi, a flagellated, protozoan parasite in the class Kinetoplastida, is the causative agent of Chagas’ disease or American Trypanosomiasis in humans and dogs. Human cases of Chagas’ disease are rare in the United States (only seven autochthonous cases), but domestic dogs and wildlife are frequently infected. To date, T. cruzi has been detected in more than 20 wildlife species including various species of woodrats (Neotoma spp.). The goal of this thesis was to determine the ecology of T. cruzi in various mammalian species with emphasis on the southern plains woodrat (Neotoma micropus) and to better understand the ecto- and endoparasitic fauna of these rodents in Uvalde County, Texas.