Poster Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

Trichuris trichiura in African Green Monkeys: a One-Health Approach to a Zoonotic Threat for Humans. (#160)

Katalina Z. Brenes 1 , Amy Beierschmitt 1 2 , Jennifer Ketzis 1
  1. One Health Center, ROSS University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Frigate Bay, BASSETERRE, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  2. Behavioural Sciences Foundation, Behavioral Sciences Foundation, Estridge Estate, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Trichuris trichiura is the third most common nematode infection in humans (>600 million people infected), predominately in children. Infection occurs from consumption of food, water or soil contaminated with larvated eggs. To prevent infection, focus has been placed on hygiene education, sanitation and mass deworming of children. Preliminary data indicates that African Green Monkeys (AGM; Chlorocebus aethiops) on St. Kitts are infected with a strain of T. trichiura that also infects humans. We hypothesized that infections in AGM pose a zoonotic threat to humans. Feces from trapped AGM (69 samples, n=69) were found to contain T. trichiura eggs. The Biomedical Science Foundation trapped AGM between 16 and 26 of January 2015 from Tabernacle, Phillips and Estridge Mountains, Monkey Hill, West Farm and Saddler’s St. Kitts. All procedures were conducted under an approved IACUC protocol or SOP. Rainfall from the mountain locations was determined to feed into surface water collection areas for human consumption and/or dams for agriculture irrigation. Approximately 30% of the water for human consumption on St. Kitts is from surface water treated via sedimentation, sands filters and chlorination; however, T. trichiura eggs are only effectively removed via sedimentation. Dam water for irrigation is not treated. Therefore, there is the potential for monkey feces with T. Trichiura eggs to contaminate drinking and irrigation water. A One-Health approach is required to ensure that previous controls are not lost due to a new source of infection.