This review aims to synthesise knowledge regarding the taxonomy of South-east Asian murine rodents and the challenges associated with the identification of habitat preferences and associated rodent-borne diseases. Recent studies concerning the Rattini tribe have identified unclear species boundaries that would benefit from further investigation. The development of barcoding may allow more accurate identification of rodents, specifically for complex species. However, knowledge on the distribution and habitat specialisations of many common murine rodents is still scarce, particularly regarding the specific habitat preferences of most synanthropic rodent species (Rattus tanezumi or Rattus exulans). Several studies have analysed the prevalence of major rodent-borne diseases in South-east Asia and it appears that the greatest risk of rodent zoonoses are in the lowland rain-fed and irrigated landscapes, generally in and around rice fields.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2