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Gastrointestinal parasites in captive olive baboons in a UK safari park

Juhász, Alexandra, Spiers, Elly, Tinsley, Ellie, Chapman, Emma, Shaw, William, Head, Marion, Cunningham, Lucas, Archer, John, Jones, Sam, Haines, Lee ORCID:, Davies Walsh, Naomi, Johnson, Bridget, Quayle, Jen, Jones, Jayne, LaCourse, James ORCID:, Cracknell, Jonathan and Stothard, Russell ORCID: (2023) 'Gastrointestinal parasites in captive olive baboons in a UK safari park'. Parasitology, Vol 150, Issue 12, pp. 1096-1104.

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From the safety offered inside vehicles, Knowsley Safari provides its visitors a close-up encounter with a colony of some 240 captive olive baboons. As exiting vehicles may be contaminated with baboon stool and the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites within the colony is unknown, a comprehensive coprological survey of baboon stool was conducted to address public health concerns. Stools were obtained from vehicles, and sleeping areas, inclusive of video analysis of baboon-vehicle interactions. During the summer of 2021, a purposely selected four-day period of sampling enabled comparative inspections of 2,662 vehicles, with a total of 669 baboon stools examined (371 from vehicles and 298 from sleeping areas). As informed by a pilot study, our frontline diagnostic methods used were: QUIK-CHEK RDT (Giardia and Cryptosporidium), Kato-Katz coproscopy (Trichuris) and charcoal culture (Strongyloides). A total of 13.9% of vehicles were contaminated with baboon stool. Across examined stools, the prevalence of giardiasis was 37.4% whilst cryptosporidiosis was less than 0.01% using RDTs. The absence of faecal cysts by quality control coproscopy, alongside lower than expected levels of Giardia-specific DNA, judged RDT results as misleading, grossly overestimating the prevalence of giardiasis. Prevalence of trichuriasis was 48.0% and strongyloidiasis was 13.7%, with the first report of Strongyloides fuelleborni in the UK. We advise regular blanket administration(s) of anthelminthics to the colony, exploring pour-on formulations, thereafter, smaller-scale indicator surveys could adequately monitor notable gastrointestinal parasites.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Dermatologic Agents. Gastrointestinal Agents > QV 66 Gastrointestinal agents
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 860 Trichuriasis. Oxyuriasis
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 865 Strongyloidiasis
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Clare O'Neill
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 13:19
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 16:03


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