About this Research Topic
Human movements have been historically associated with bioinvasions, where the spread of invasive rodents is the most relevant example, with Rattus and Mus our most successful travel and home mates. The Pacific rat (Rattus exulans) travelled from Southeast Asia as far as Polynesia, where these new islanders contributed to the irreversible damage of the ecology of those areas. The Black rat (R. rattus) and their fleas are associated with the epidemiology of the plague that is responsible of millions of human deaths. The Norway rat (R. norvegicus) has become the most successful invasive mammal, being present in millions in each city becoming pests. The House mouse (M. musculus) has been a long-term companion of man and its distribution reaches to sub-Antarctic islands hundreds of kilometers from the African coast.
The catastrophic environmental damage of these invasion processes cannot be understood without parasites travelling as stowaways to these newly colonized areas. These new residents will coexist with the local fauna and its parasites, providing a new ecological framework. The above-mentioned parasites include rodent‐borne diseases covering viruses, bacteria, helminths, and arthropods; this list of parasites carried by invasive rodents is vast, many of them holding veterinary significance.
Nowadays, invasive rodents continue colonizing new areas in our today’s world, as this is a dynamic process that continues taking place. These invasive processes are invigorated in present times by an exponentially interconnected earth by transport and the associated new transnational infrastructures at a planetary scale.
This Research Topic will include studies from the screening of macro- and micro-parasites, to its effects on and consequences for the success of invasion by rodents. The geographical area of these studies can include the original distribution of these rodent species as well as invaded areas. We welcome Original Research articles and Mini-Reviews.
Photo credit Alexis Ribas Salvador
Keywords: Rattus, Mus, bioinvasion, parasite, rodent‐borne diseases
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.