Rodent zoonoses in North Queensland: the occurrence and distribution of zoonotic infections in North Queensland rodents

Aust J Exp Biol Med Sci. 1978 Apr;56(2):147-56.


A study of potentially zoonotic infections was carried out on 351 rodents trapped in north-eastern Queensland. Their ecosystems included towns, agricultural and livestock areas, wookland and rainforest. Nine serotypes of salmonellae were obtained from asymptomatic carries in predominantly settled locations. Two strains of Ps. pseudomallei occurred in rainforest near Innisfail and one on a cattle property adjacent to Townsville. Ps. aeruginosa caused bronchopneumonia in one animal from Townsville harbour. Ifection by leptospirae of six serogroups and seven serovars were identified by serological or cultural examinations. Enzootic foci occurred on the Mount Spec rainforest where celledoni and australis were being excreted by rats adjacent to the Paluma dam system. In addition to the scrub typhus locations at Rocky Creek, Atherton Tableland and Bullocky Creek, near Ingham, which were confirmed, a new focus of infection by R. tsutsugamushi was identified at El Arish near Tully. Water rat (H. chrysogaster) at Townsville harbour constituted a reservoir of toxoplasmosis. In addition to the known human pathogenic helminths H. nana and H. diminuta, localized foci of hookworms (Ancylostoma spp.) were found. Histological evidence of cytomegalic disease of the salivary glands or kidneys was a common finding.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Australia
  • Ecology
  • Rats
  • Rodent Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Rodentia
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology*