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Wild gorillas as a potential reservoir of Leishmania major.


ABSTRACT: Vector-borne parasites of the genus Leishmania are responsible for severe human diseases. Cutaneous leishmaniasis, a common form of the disease, is most often caused by the transmission of Leishmania major to humans by female phlebotomine sand ?ies. Apes are increasingly being seen as a source of zoonotic diseases, including malaria and rickettsiosis. To examine whether gorillas harbor Leishmania species, we screened fecal samples from wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in Cameroon for the presence of these pathogens. Of 91 wild gorilla fecal samples, 12 contained Leishmania parasites, and 4 contained phlebotomine sand fly vectors. The molecular identity was determined by running 3 different polymerase chain reaction tests for detection of L. major. Next, fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed to visualize L. major parasites in fecal samples from the gorillas. Both promastigote and amastigote forms of the parasite were found. This work strongly suggests that wild gorillas carry pathogenic Leishmania parasites.

SUBMITTER: Hamad I 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4342692 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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