Parasitic infections in rats and mice used in experimentation in Brazil concern scientists

Maria Luiza De Grandi, journalist at Ciência Rural, Santa Maria RS, Brazil. E-mail: 

Desenir Pedro, Veterinarian at Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP. Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil. 

Logo of the journal Ciência RuralLaboratory animals are used in various teaching and research activities. Among the most used species are mice and rats. Despite all the importance they have for the progress of science, laboratory mice and rats are still neglected in Brazil in terms of their sanitary condition, according to scientific evidence that points to the occurrence of different parasites in these animals in vivariums in the country. 

With the aim of developing an integrative review of scientific studies on the parasitological profile of rats and mice in vivariums in Brazil, researchers linked to the Postgraduate Program in Sciences and Biotechnology (PPBI) at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) developed the study Laboratory rats and mice from Brazil: decades pass, but parasitic infections remain, published in the journal Ciência Rural (vol. 54, n.º1).

The study was based on research into reports of the occurrence of parasites in laboratory animals in Brazilian facilities. Based on the question “which endoparasites and ectoparasites have already been identified in colonies of rats and mice in vivariums in Brazil?”, 28 studies published between 1974 and 2021 in four scientific bases were selected. In these studies, information was extracted regarding the reported parasites, the Brazilian regions in which the vivariums were located and the infrastructural characteristics and sanitary standards of the facilities.

Photograph showing a newborn hairless mouse pup lying on two hands protected by white latex gloves

Image: Desenir Pedro.

From the investigation of scientific evidence recovered in the databases consulted, reports of the occurrence of 16 genera of parasites in mice and 19 in rats were verified in the 28 studies analyzed, published over 47 years. These studies covered 12 of the 27 Brazilian federal units. The data analyzed also showed that the majority of the facilities where the animals came from were of the Conventional type, which is characterized by the availability of few sanitary barriers in infrastructure and management.

The results highlighted the need for greater rigor in relation to the sanitary condition of laboratory animals used in academic-scientific activities in Brazil. Therefore, the article proposed measures to improve sanitary barriers and the management carried out in laboratory animal facilities. According to Desenir Pedro, one of the authors of the research, the data available in the study can serve as an incentive for institutions to implement health monitoring programs for laboratory animals, which will help maintain the sanitary quality of the animals.

“In addition, the results of the article shed light on the topic so that the National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA) recognizes the urgency of standards for health control and that funding bodies develop notices to support the implementation of monitoring programs health of laboratory animals. This is fundamental for the Brazilian scientific community, as parasitic infections impact research results,” explains Desenir.

To read the article, access

Pedro, D.A., Barreto, M.L. and Castro, H.C. Brazilian laboratory rats and mice: decades pass, but parasite infections remain. Ciência Rural [online]. 2024, vol. 54, no. 1, e20220452 [viewed 10 May 2024]. Available from:

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Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

DE GRANDI, M.L. and PEDRO, D. Parasitic infections in rats and mice used in experimentation in Brazil concern scientists [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2024 [viewed ]. Available from:


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