The presence of nematodes was investigated in 84 small mammals belonging to 10 species living in arid wild habitats from Central Tunisia. Hosts were infected with a total of 7 species of nematodes. The dominant parasite species was Gongylonema neoplasticum, which was found in the stomach of 7 host species with prevalences varying from 15.4% in Gerbillus campestris to 50% in Meriones shawi. Several nematodes, such as Syphacia obvelata, Acanthocheilonema viteae, Trichuris gerbilli, and G. neoplasticum, are potential zoonotic parasites. These latter species were collected from M. shawi, Meriones libycus, Mus musculus, Mus spretus, Rattus rattus, G. campestris, Psammomys obesus, and Ctenodactylus goundi, raising concern that these rodents and their associated rodent-borne helminths could be of potential concern for public health in this region.
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Vol. 82 • No. 2