Nutria can be infected with several pathogens and parasites that can be transmitted to humans, livestock, and pets. The role of nutria, however, in the spread of diseases such as equine encephalomyelitis, leptospirosis, hemorrhagic septicemia (Pasteurellosis), paratyphoid, and salmonellosis is not well documented. They may also host a number of parasites, including the nematodes and blood flukes that cause “swimmer’s-itch” or “nutria-itch” (Strongyloides myopotami and Schistosoma mansoni), the protozoan responsible for giardiasis (Giardia lamblia), tapeworms (Taenia spp.), and common liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica).
The threat of disease may be an important consideration in some situations, such as when livestock drink from water contaminated by nutria feces and urine.