Event Title

Survey of Gastrointestinal Parasites Found in Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) Collected from Lakes in Southern Minnesota

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

11-4-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

11-4-2017 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Robert Sorensen

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Second Mentor's Name

Scott Malotka

Second Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Second Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Knowledge of the parasites that reside in wildlife provides basic information about the risk those parasites may pose to humans. The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is a mammal commonly found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. By describing the diversity and abundance of parasites that typically reside within muskrats, we gain a better understanding of ecology of muskrats and the extent to which they possess parasites that could infect people. O. Zibethicus residing around Minnesota lakes typically contract parasites from intermediate hosts, like snails or arthropods, that live within those lakes. Humans that come into contact with these intermediate hosts could be at some risk given these parasite could potentially infect humans. By conducting a survey of the typical parasite species found within the intestines of muskrats in southern Minnesota, we provide information on the possible risk to diversity and abundance of these parasites. In the fall of 2016, we obtained 52 muskrats from Minnesota Lake and German Lake in southern Minnesota that were harvested by local fur trappers. Intestines were extracted from the muskrats and placed in plastic bags and stored at -20°C until they were thawed and examined to collect any parasites they contained. Parasite species were identified using phylogenetic keys and primary literature. Commonly found parasites include Quinqueserialis quinqueserialis, Echinostoma trivolvis, and Notocotylus filamentis. These efforts to describe baseline parasite community structure are deemed necessary to future studies given the numerous environmental changes being forecast, including introduced species, habitat loss, and climate change.

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Apr 11th, 10:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:30 AM

Survey of Gastrointestinal Parasites Found in Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) Collected from Lakes in Southern Minnesota

CSU Ballroom

Knowledge of the parasites that reside in wildlife provides basic information about the risk those parasites may pose to humans. The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is a mammal commonly found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. By describing the diversity and abundance of parasites that typically reside within muskrats, we gain a better understanding of ecology of muskrats and the extent to which they possess parasites that could infect people. O. Zibethicus residing around Minnesota lakes typically contract parasites from intermediate hosts, like snails or arthropods, that live within those lakes. Humans that come into contact with these intermediate hosts could be at some risk given these parasite could potentially infect humans. By conducting a survey of the typical parasite species found within the intestines of muskrats in southern Minnesota, we provide information on the possible risk to diversity and abundance of these parasites. In the fall of 2016, we obtained 52 muskrats from Minnesota Lake and German Lake in southern Minnesota that were harvested by local fur trappers. Intestines were extracted from the muskrats and placed in plastic bags and stored at -20°C until they were thawed and examined to collect any parasites they contained. Parasite species were identified using phylogenetic keys and primary literature. Commonly found parasites include Quinqueserialis quinqueserialis, Echinostoma trivolvis, and Notocotylus filamentis. These efforts to describe baseline parasite community structure are deemed necessary to future studies given the numerous environmental changes being forecast, including introduced species, habitat loss, and climate change.

Recommended Citation

Friedman, Bree and Kayla VanBeck. "Survey of Gastrointestinal Parasites Found in Muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) Collected from Lakes in Southern Minnesota." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 11, 2017.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2017/poster-session-A/7