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Am J Primatol. 2008 Feb;70(2):175-84.

Survey and comparison of major intestinal flora in captive and wild ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) populations.

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Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222, USA.


A survey to identify the major intestinal species of aerobic bacteria, protozoa and helminths was conducted on captive and wild populations of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Samples were collected from 50 captive lemurs at 11 zoological institutions in the United States. In Madagascar, 98 aerobic bacteria samples and 99 parasite samples were collected from eight sites chosen to cover a variety of populations across the species range. Identical collection, preservation and lab techniques were used for captive and wild populations. The predominant types of aerobic bacteria flora were identified via five separate tests. The tests for parasites conducted included flotation, sedimentation and FA/GC. Twenty-seven bacteria unique to either the captive or wild populations were cultured with eight of these being statistically significantly different. Fourteen bacteria common to both populations were cultured, of which six differed significantly. Entamoeba coli was the only parasite common to both the captive and wild populations. Giardia spp., Isospora spp., strongyles-type ova, Entamoeba spp. and Entamoeba polecki were found only in captive samples. Cryptosporidium, Balantidium coli, pinworm-type ova, and two fluke-like ova were seen only in wild samples. In addition, samples were compared for both bacteria and parasites from three unique field sites in Madagascar. In this three-site comparison, six types of bacteria were statistically significantly different. No significant differences regarding parasites were seen. Significant differences were found between the captive and wild populations, whereas fewer differences were found between sites within Madagascar. Although we isolated Campylobacter and Giardia, all animals appeared clinically healthy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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