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Effect of synthetic hormones on reproduction in Mastomys natalensis

Effect of synthetic hormones on reproduction in Mastomys natalensis

Massawe, Apia W., Makundi, Rhodes H., Zhang, Zhibin, Mhamphi, Ginethon, Liu, Ming, Li, Hong-Jun and Belmain, Steven R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5590-7545 (2017) Effect of synthetic hormones on reproduction in Mastomys natalensis. Journal of Pest Science. ISSN 1612-4758 (Print), 1612-4766 (Online) (doi:

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Rodent pest management traditionally relies on some form of lethal control. Developing effective fertility control for pest rodent species could be a major breakthrough particularly in the context of managing rodent population outbreaks. This laboratory-based study is the first to report on the effects of using fertility compounds on an outbreaking rodent pest species found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Mastomys natalensis were fed bait containing the synthetic steroid hormones quinestrol and levonorgestrel, both singly and in combination, at three concentrations (10, 50, 100 ppm) for seven days. Consumption of the bait and animal body mass was mostly the same between treatments when analysed by sex, day and treatment. However, a repeated measures ANOVA indicated that quinestrol and quinestrol+levonorgestrel treatments reduced consumption by up to 45%, particularly at the higher concentrations of 50 and 100 ppm. Although there was no clear concentration effect on animal body mass, quinestrol and quinestrol+levonorgestrel lowered body mass by up to 20% compared to the untreated and levonorgestrel treatments. Quinestrol and quinestrol+levonorgestrel reduced the weight of male rat testes, epididymis and seminal vesicles by 60-80%, and sperm concentration and motility were reduced by more than 95%. No weight changes were observed to uterine and ovarian tissue; however, high uterine oedema was observed among all female rats consuming treated bait at 8 days and 40 days from trial start. Trials with mate pairing showed there were significant differences in the pregnancy rate with all treatments when compared to the untreated control group of rodents.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contraceptive bait, Fertility control, Levonorgestrel, Multimammate rat, Quinestrol
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Pest Behaviour Research Group
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 08:36

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