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The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. in primates and determine their zoonotic or anthropozoonotic potential. Direct immunofluorescence was used to identify Giardia and Cryptosporidium from faecal samples. PCR and DNA sequencing was performed on positive results. Giardia cysts were identified from 5.5% (5/90) of captive chimpanzees and 0% (0/11) of captive mandrills in the Republic of Congo; 0% (0/10) of captive chimpanzees in Norway; and 0% of faecal samples (n = 49) from wild Zanzibar red colobus monkeys. Two Giardia positive samples were also positive on PCR, and sequencing revealed identical isolates of Assemblage B. Cryptosporidium oocysts were not detected in any of the samples. In these primate groups, in which interactions with humans and human environments are quite substantial, Giardia and Cryptosporidium are rare pathogens. In chimpanzees, Giardia may have a zoonotic or anthropozoonotic potential. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


John J Debenham, Rebeca Atencia, Fred Midtgaard, Lucy J Robertson. Occurrence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) and wild Zanzibar red colobus monkeys (Procolobus kirkii). Journal of medical primatology. 2015 Apr;44(2):60-5

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PMID: 25612000

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