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Parasite. 2019;26:25. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2019025. Epub 2019 May 1.

Cestode infections in non-human primates suggest the existence of zoonotic cycles in the area surrounding the Strasbourg primatology center.

Author information

1
Unité d'infectiologie, Service de médecine interne, Hôpitaux Civils de Colmar, 68000 Colmar, France - Institut de Parasitologie et de Pathologie Tropicale, EA 7292, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle, Université de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
2
École Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.
3
Institut de Parasitologie et de Pathologie Tropicale, EA 7292, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle, Université de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France - Laboratoire de Parasitologie et Mycologie Médicales, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, 67000 Strasbourg, France.
4
Centre de Primatologie - SILABE (Simian Laboratory Europe) ADUEIS, Fort Foch, 67205 Oberhausbergen, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several cases of infections due to Echinococcus multilocularis, Taenia martis and Taenia crassiceps were recently described in various species of captive non-human primates (NHPs) harbored in the Strasbourg Primate Center (SPC). Furthermore, one of the first cases of human cysticercosis due to T. martis was described in the Strasbourg region. These data suggest the existence of zoonotic cycles of tapeworm infections in the direct environment of the SPC. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of larval cestode infections among intermediate and definitive hosts in the close neighborhood of the center. We analyzed carnivore mammal fecal samples as well as rodent carcasses, collected inside or near the SPC, using PCR. Furthermore, we performed serology for Echinococcus spp. and Taenia spp. on NHP sera.

RESULTS:

We found that 14.5% (95% CI [8.6; 20.4]) of 138 carnivore feces were positive for E. multilocularis-DNA, as well as 25% (95% CI [5.5; 57.2]) of 12 rodent carcasses, and 5.1% (95% CI [1.4; 8.7]) for T. martis or T. crassiceps. Of all NHPs tested, 10.1% (95% CI [3.8; 16.4]) were seropositive for Echinococcus spp. and 8.2% (95% CI [1.3; 15.1]) for Taenia spp.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data support the existence of zoonotic cycles of larval cestode infections in the direct environment of the primatology center affecting NHPs harbored in the SPC, potentially threatening the human population living in this area. Since this zoonotic risk is borne by local wildlife, and given the severity of these infections, it seems necessary to put in place measures to protect captive NHPs, and further studies to better assess the risk to human populations.

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