THE PREVALENCE OF TRICHOPHYTON MENTAGROPHYTES AND CHEYLETIELLA PARASITOVORAX IN RABBITS IN PET SHOPS IN THE NETHERLANDS
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Objectives: The objective of this research was to determine the prevalence of Trichophyton mentagrophytes in rabbits in pet shops in the Netherlands. Since Cheyletiella parasitovorax is a possible risk factor for acquiring dermatophytosis, all rabbits where also checked for this fur mite. Design: Prevalence study Methods: A total of 213 rabbits from 90 pet shops, located all over the Netherlands, were sampled using the toothbrush technique and cultured. Clean cultures were made and examined microscopically. A PCR was performed on at least one sample from each pet shop. All rabbits were checked for Cheyletiella parasitovorax using a flea comb, a magnifying glass and a piece of white paper. Results: The prevalence of rabbit T. mentagrophytes in pet shops in the Netherlands is 3,8% (8/213). These positive culture rabbits were found in 5.6% (5/90) of the investigated pet shops. Cheyletiella parasitovorax was not found, resulting in 0% prevalence in the Dutch pet shops. Conclusion: There is a low zoonotic risk to contract dermatophytosis from rabbits bought in pet shops. Employees and purchasing customers should be informed about this risk. The pet shop owners can take specific measures, next to regular hygiene, when handling animals.