• Schools Education
  • Students Research
  • Zoo or Aquarium
  • BIAZA Membership
  • Corporate Membership
Nov 28, 2011

A cross‐sectional survey of the prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica in non‐human primate populations

A cross‐sectional survey of the prevalence of Entamoeba histolytica in non‐human primate populations

Entamoeba species are important pathogens in non‐human primates (NHPs), yet little is known about disease prevalence in the United Kingdom. Reports suggest prevalence has increased, but population‐based data to substantiate this are lacking.

This study estimated amoebiasis prevalence in NHP populations at Twycross Zoo (TZ, England) and Tree House (TH, India), using individual identification protocols that introduced edible glitter to the feed of several primate species. Although this method has been used extensively in ungulate and carnivore reproduction and nutritional studies, this is believed to be the first time that an extensive study across a number of different primate species has been used to help in the identification of individuals for parasite infection.

This method has subsequently been utilised in nutritional experiments on lemurs at the zoo and has been called upon for primate studies elsewhere. Disease prevalence was described by site, species, and patient demographics. 126 faecal samples were collected from 35 individual NHPs at TZ and 80 samples collected from 26 individuals at TH.

Microscopic examination revealed high rates of amoebic infection at both institutions (84.6% and 81.1%, respectively). Infection with Entamoeba spp. was significantly higher at TH (57.7%) than TZ (16.2%). Old World monkeys demonstrated significantly greater amoebic infection (50.0%) than New World monkeys (11.1%). Molecular analysis of TZ samples revealed no E.histolytica or E. dispar infections, suggesting misidentification of microscopically identified amoebic cysts or the presence of E. moshkovskii.

Further research to develop more accurate, cost‐effective and simple diagnostic tests for NHP amoebiasis is urgently needed.

Twycross Zoo

COMMENDATION received in BIAZA Awards 2011 for Best research project

Text size A A A

T +44 (0) 20 7449 6599
E admin@biaza.org.uk

Paignton Zoo's Great Big Rhino Project has made crucial donations of cash to wildlife conservation on two continents. The Project is to give £60,000 to support work in Africa and South East Asia to protect rhinos in the wild. More

Collaborative research by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Bristol Zoological Society and the Comorian NGO Dahari has revealed the Livingstone’s fruit bat is likely to be the most endangered fruit bat in the world. 


New data released by WWF and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) today reveals that overall global vertebrate populations are on course to decline by an average of 67 per cent from 1970 levels by the end of this decade, unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity’s impact on species and ecosystems.


Bookmark and Share