Non-human primates (NHP) living in captive conditions are susceptible to intestinal parasites that can contribute to mortality and morbidity, and cause zoonotic infections. Thus, parasite surveys on NHP populations under human care are relevant as part of the evaluation of NHP welfare and in the zoonotic disease risk assessment, as well as in the exploration of parasite transmission pathways. This study aimed to identify and to characterise at the molecular level the intestinal parasites from NHP living in two wildlife recovery centres and in a zoological garden, in Italy. Thirty-two faecal samples from primates Macaca tonkeana, Macaca fascicularis and Sapajus apella were collected at Parco Faunistico Piano dell’Abatino (Rieti, Lazio), and faecal smears and flotation were performed in order to identify parasites based on morphology. Additionally, one carcass of Macaca fuscata from Fondazione Bioparco di Roma (Rome, Lazio) and one of Macaca fascicularis from Centro Recupero Animali Selvatici della Maremma (Semproniano, Tuscany) were necropsied and intestinal adult nematodes were collected. Protozoans (Balantiidididae, Dientamoeba sp., Iodamoeba sp., Entamoeba coli) and nematodes (Trichuris sp., Strongyloides sp., Oesophagostomum sp.) were found through faecal smears and flotation. The collected adult nematodes were morphologically identified as whipworms (genus Trichuris) and molecular characterised using mitochondrial CO1 and 16S markers. Phylogenetic analyses grouped Trichuris specimens from M. fuscata into a host-specific branch of the Trichuris trichiura complex of species, while whipworms from M. fascicularis clustered within a clade formed by Trichuris infecting several primate species, including humans. The results of this study could be useful in the formulation of captive NHP management and care plans, and in the elaboration of safety measures for visitors and animal keepers, as parasites with zoonotic potential were identified.

Intestinal parasites infecting captive non-human primates in Italy

Rondon Robayo, Silvia Yesenia
Primo
;
Cavallero, Serena
Secondo
;
D'Amelio, Stefano
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Non-human primates (NHP) living in captive conditions are susceptible to intestinal parasites that can contribute to mortality and morbidity, and cause zoonotic infections. Thus, parasite surveys on NHP populations under human care are relevant as part of the evaluation of NHP welfare and in the zoonotic disease risk assessment, as well as in the exploration of parasite transmission pathways. This study aimed to identify and to characterise at the molecular level the intestinal parasites from NHP living in two wildlife recovery centres and in a zoological garden, in Italy. Thirty-two faecal samples from primates Macaca tonkeana, Macaca fascicularis and Sapajus apella were collected at Parco Faunistico Piano dell’Abatino (Rieti, Lazio), and faecal smears and flotation were performed in order to identify parasites based on morphology. Additionally, one carcass of Macaca fuscata from Fondazione Bioparco di Roma (Rome, Lazio) and one of Macaca fascicularis from Centro Recupero Animali Selvatici della Maremma (Semproniano, Tuscany) were necropsied and intestinal adult nematodes were collected. Protozoans (Balantiidididae, Dientamoeba sp., Iodamoeba sp., Entamoeba coli) and nematodes (Trichuris sp., Strongyloides sp., Oesophagostomum sp.) were found through faecal smears and flotation. The collected adult nematodes were morphologically identified as whipworms (genus Trichuris) and molecular characterised using mitochondrial CO1 and 16S markers. Phylogenetic analyses grouped Trichuris specimens from M. fuscata into a host-specific branch of the Trichuris trichiura complex of species, while whipworms from M. fascicularis clustered within a clade formed by Trichuris infecting several primate species, including humans. The results of this study could be useful in the formulation of captive NHP management and care plans, and in the elaboration of safety measures for visitors and animal keepers, as parasites with zoonotic potential were identified.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1656092
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