Protozoan Cysts in Faecal Pellets of German Cockroaches (Blattella germanica), with Particular Emphasis on Lophomonas blattarum

Hugo Cornelis van Woerden, Rafael Martínez-Girón, Cristina Martínez-Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate protozoan cysts and oocyts in the faecal pellets of the German cockroach (Blattella germanica), with emphasis on the prevalence of Lophomonas blattarum. Methods: Thirty adult Blattella germanica (12 males; 18 females) were trapped near Madrid, Spain. Expelled faecal pellets were collected in the laboratory over 5 days in two plastic containers. Protozoan cysts from one container were weighted and those in the other used for morphologically identification. Results: Protozoan cysts/oocysts per gram of faecal pellet were: Nyctotherus sp. (0.0019/g), Entamoeba (0.0007/g), Balantidium coli (0.0001/g), Lophomonas blattarum (0.00038/g). Observation of 189 protozoan cysts/oocysts indicated the following prevalence: Nyctotherus sp. 65 (34.4%); Gregarina spp. 34 (18%); Entamoeba sp. 24 (12.7%); Cryptosporidium sp. 17 (9%); Coccidia 16 (8.4%); Lophomonas blattarum 13 (6.8%); Balantidium coli 4 (2.1%); and unclassified 16 (8.4%). Conclusion: Lophomonas blattarum has previously been demonstrated in the gut of cockroaches, but this is the first assessment of the prevalence in Blattella germanica in faecal pellets. The presence of protozoa in faecal pellets provides some evidence for one step in a hypothesised route of respiratory infection whereby protozoa from household insects enter the respiratory tract.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalActa Parasitologica
Early online date29 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 May 2020

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