Anthroponotic Enteric Parasites in Monkeys in Public Park, China - - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Anthroponotic Enteric Parasites in Monkeys in Public Park, China
Suggested citation for this article
Cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, and microsporidiosis are enteric diseases in humans and are mainly caused by Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, and Enterocytozoon bieneusi, respectively (1–3). These protozoan parasites are also commonly found in animals and are considered zoonotic. However, the role of nonhuman primates in the transmission of the diseases remains unclear because few studies have been conducted on the genetic characteristics of the parasites in these animals. In a recent study in Kenya, 5 (2.0%) and 13 (5.5%) of 235 captive baboons had human-pathogenic C. hominis subtypes and E. bieneusi genotypes, respectively. This finding implies that nonhuman primates might be reservoirs for human cryptosporidiosis and microsporidiosis (4). We determined the genotypes and subtypes of Cryptosporidium spp., G. duodenalis, and E. bieneusi in free-range rhesus monkeys in a popular public park to assess the potential for transmission of these parasites from rhesus monkeys to humans.
AbstractCryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, and Enterocytozoon bieneusi were detected in 45, 35, and 116 of 411 free-range rhesus monkeys, respectively, in a popular public park in the People’s Republic of China. Most genotypes and subtypes detected were anthroponotic, indicating these animals might be reservoirs for human cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, and microsporidiosis.
In November 2010, we collected 411 fecal specimens from rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in Qianling Park, Guiyang, People’s Republic of China (www.qlpark.cn). The park, a major tourist attraction of the city, is visited by 10,000–70,000 persons each day. It has the highest number (≈700) of domesticated free-range monkeys in China, which originated from a troop of 20 animals in 1985. Visitors are allowed to bring or buy food to feed the animals, watch them from a short distance, or play with them (Figure, panel A).
We collected fecal droppings at 3 locations with different animal densities. A total of 187 specimens were collected from the Macaque Garden, where animal density was the highest, at ≈400 animals in a small open area between 2 mountains. Another 74 specimens were collected from the Tanquan Spring area, where animal density was the lowest. The remaining 150 specimens were collected from the Hongfu Temple, which had moderate animal density. Twenty-three 100-mL grab samples of high-turbidity water were collected at various points of a small lake near the Macaque Garden and Tanquan Spring, where the rhesus monkeys frequently bathed (Figure).