a1 Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS
Wild brown rats (Rattus norvegiens) from 11 rural UK farmsteads were found to carry 13 zoonotic and 10 non-zoonotic parasitic species, many of which (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Pasteurella, Listeria, Yersinia, Coxiella and Hantavirus) have rarely or never been previously investigated for wild rats. The study suggests that wild brown rats, serving as vectors of disease, represent a serious risk to the health of humans and domestic animals in the UK.
(Received November 23 1994)
(Revised March 06 1995)
(Accepted March 13 1995)