Volume 101, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



African multimammate rats, , are widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and live in close association with humans. In West Africa, numerous field studies have shown these animals may be naturally infected with the relapsing fever spirochete , the primary cause of tick-borne relapsing fever in this region of the continent. However, naturally infected individual rats have never been examined over time; therefore, the true host competency of these rats for this spirochete is unknown. Therefore, using animals from an established laboratory colony of , rats were experimentally infected with and their blood examined to 28 days postinoculation. These animals were highly susceptible to infection and displayed prolonged and cyclic spirochetemias. Our results demonstrate these peridomestic rodents are likely competent hosts for infecting argasid tick vectors and play a primary role in the enzootic cycle for in West Africa.


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  • Received : 09 Aug 2019
  • Accepted : 15 Sep 2019
  • Published online : 28 Oct 2019
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