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Enzootic simian piroplasm(Entopolypoides macaci) in wild-caught Kenyan non-human primates.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Comparative Medicine.
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2008 (English)In: Journal of medical primatology, ISSN 0047-2565, Vol. 37, no 6, 329-336 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Three species of non-human primates comprising African green monkeys (AGMs), (Cercopithecus aethiops, n = 89), Syke's monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis, n = 60) and olive baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis, n = 30), were screened for Entopolypoides macaci.


Observation of blood smears prepared from these animals revealed E. macaci infection rate of 42.7% in AGMs, 35% in Syke's monkeys and 33.3% in baboons.


Gender infection rate was 38.2% in females and 29% in males. Statistically, there was no significant difference in infection rates between the monkey species and sexes (P > 0.05). Subsequent indirect immuno fluorescent antibody test supported the morphological appearance of E. macaci observed by microscopy. Sera from infected animals reacted positively (1:625) with E. macaci antigen, but not to Babesia bigemina or B. bovis antigen at 1:125 titer.


This study has revealed high prevalence of E. macaci infection in all three widely distributed Kenyan non-human primates. With the continued use of these animals as models for human parasitic diseases, the presence of this highly enzootic parasite should be noted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 37, no 6, 329-336 p.
Keyword [en]
C. mitis, Cercopithecus aethiops, Entopolypoides macaci, Kenya, Papio cynocephalus anubis, prevalence
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-105008DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0684.2008.00294.xPubMedID: 18507704OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-105008DiVA: diva2:220342
Available from: 2009-05-31 Created: 2009-05-31 Last updated: 2011-05-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Haemoprotozoan Parasites of Non-Human Primates in Kenya: Studies on Prevalence and Characterization of Haemoprotozoan Parasites of Wild-Caught Baboons, African Green Monkeys and Syke's Monkeys
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Haemoprotozoan Parasites of Non-Human Primates in Kenya: Studies on Prevalence and Characterization of Haemoprotozoan Parasites of Wild-Caught Baboons, African Green Monkeys and Syke's Monkeys
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis reports on cross-sectional surveys aimed at detecting and characterizing haemoprotozoan parasites infecting wild free-ranging non human primates (NHPs) in Kenya, East Africa. Blood samples from olive baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis), vervet monkeys or African green monkeys (AGMs, Chlorocebus aethiops) and Syke's monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis) from five provinces of Kenya were analyzed. The haemoprotozoan parasites survey was performed with microscopic evaluation of blood smears, serological techniques and molecular tools.

Blood specimens and serum samples from 121 NHPs were tested for the presence of Trypanosoma brucei (Study I). Indirect antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Ab-ELISA) detected titers of anti-T. brucei antibodies in 19% (23/121) of the sera sampled. Subsequent field-oriented latex agglutination test (LAT) detected presence of T. brucei antigens in 16% (19/121) of the sera. However, there were no active infections detected on fixed blood smears, or wet blood films. Of the 378 NHPs sera samples tested for Leishmania major exposure using Ab-ELISA, 66% had detectable anti-L. major antibodies (study II). Western blot (WB) assay detected anti-L. major antibodies in sera from 46% (175/378) of the NHPs samples. Specific proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to L. major antigen was demonstrated in 23% (17/57) of AGMs samples. Haemoprotozoan parasites, Entopolypoides macaci and Hepatocystis kochi were detected by microscopic evaluation of Giemsa-stained blood smears from 179 NHPs (study III). The prevalence rate of E. macaci was 43% in African green monkeys, 35% in Syke’s monkeys and 33% in baboons. H. kochi infection rate was 18% in African green monkeys, 23% in baboons and 25% in Syke’s monkeys. Subsequent indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) supported the morphologic appearance of E. macaci observed by microscopy. Molecular tools were used to detect and identify haemoprotozoan parasites in wild free-ranging NHPs (study IV). Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting Babesia β-tubulin gene detected a 22% (27/125) B. microti infections in free-ranging NHPs in Kenya. PCR also detected 22% mixed infections by Hepatocystis and Entopolypoides, 12% Hepatocystis and Babesia and 7% Entopolypoides and Babesia (study V). Phylogenetic analysis inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cyt-b) gene confirmed the presence of Hepatocystis kochi whereas analysis of 18SS rRNA gene confirmed presence of two piroplasms, Babesia sp. and Entopolypoides macaci.

In conclusion, epidemiological results from sero-prevalence studies provide strong circumstantial evidence that some species of Kenyan NHPs are naturally exposed to L. major and T. brucei infections and could be potential reservoir hosts for these haemoparasites. Molecular diagnosis revealed the occurrence of mixed parasite infections and confirmed the circulation of Babesia and Entopolypoides species in the same populations of Kenyan NHPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 52 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 663
haemoprotozoan parasites, nonhuman primates, Kenya
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Research subject
Comparative Medicine
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-150467 (URN)978-91-554-8049-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-10, Room B41, Uppsala Biomedicinska Centrum, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-03-30 Last updated: 2011-05-05Bibliographically approved

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