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J Zoo Wildl Med. 1999 Dec;30(4):532-6.

Pseudotuberculosis in marmosets, tamarins, and Goeldi's monkeys (Callithrichidae/Callimiconidae) housed at a European zoo.

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  • 1Institute of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, University of Milan, Italy.


Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is an insidious bacterial infectious agent distributed worldwide and endemic to European countries. It has caused several animal deaths and may threaten the effectiveness of breeding projects for endangered species. In this retrospective study, we examine the prevalence of pseudotuberculosis in Jersey Zoo (Channel Islands, U.K.) over a period of 16 yr to obtain information that can be applied to prevent the infection. The efforts made to control the disease through vaccination are also explored. Our results show that pseudotuberculosis has been endemic to Jersey Zoo since 1979 and is responsible for significant animal loss in the Callithrichidae/Callimiconidae group. Mortality due to Y. pseudotuberculosis was seasonal; a high percentage of deaths occurred during wet and cold seasons. No significant difference was found in mortality rates of vaccinated versus nonvaccinated animals. Although the efficacy of vaccination has not been confirmed, we believe that an improved vaccination program could be an important tool in controlling outbreaks of infection in marmosets and tamarins.

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