Enteric pathogens of zoonotic concern in selected non-human primates in Sri Lanka
Abstract: In order to understand the dynamics of zoonotic disease transmission in the animal-human interface, a One Health approach is imperative. This study investigated the occurrence of the zoonotic pathogens Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp. and rotavirus in fecal samples from free-ranging endangered toque macaques (Macaca sinica) and near threatened tufted gray langurs (Semnopithecus priam) in Sri Lanka. During March through May of 2015 samples were opportunistically collected at five sites in Sri Lanka where these primates come into close contact with humans. Standard culturing methods were used to screen for the bacteria and an ELISA-based quick-test was used to detect presence of type A human rotavirus. Bacterial sensitivity to selected antibiotics was analysed using VetMICTM broth microdilution panels. From the five sites, 98 samples were obtained. All samples tested negative for human type A rotavirus. All 40 samples from gray langurs were negative for Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. Fifty-eight samples were collected from toque macaques, of which ten were positive for C. jejuni, four for C. coli and two for Salmonella Virchow. In vitro resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid and tetracycline was detected in C. jejuni samples. All C. coli were in vitro resistant to ampicillin. The detected Salmonella Virchow were sensitive to all the antibiotics tested for. This study has detected C. jejuni, C. coli and Salmonella Virchow in fecal samples from endangered toque macaques in Sri Lanka with close human contact. The bacteria showed varying sensitivity to antibiotics and several C. jejuni were multidrug resistant. The presence of these bacteria in free-ranging animals could have implications both for non-human primate conservation and public health in Sri Lanka.
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