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Camber, Ana-Marija, 2020. Natural occurrence of Strongyloides spp. in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) in Kuti Wildlife reserve, Malawi : assessment of correlation between anthropogenic disturbance and Strongyloides spp. infection. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Clinical Sciences



The geographic overlap between non-human primates and people is increasing, especially in
tropical and subtropical countries. This inevitably creates a potential for anthropogenic and
zoonotic transmission of parasites, which could harm both wildlife and human communities.
Strongyloides spp. are obligate gastrointestinal nematodes that are relatively host specific, but
transmission between species can occur. It is estimated that between 30-100 million people are
infected by Strongyloides spp. worldwide. In this study the ubiquitous non-human primate
Chlorocebus pygrerythrus was used as a model to investigate the relationship between anthropogenic disturbance and Strongyloides spp. infection. Chlorocebus pygrerythrus, more
commonly known as vervet monkeys, are medium sized monkeys found in the east and south
of Africa. They are highly adaptive to different habitats and are found in semi-deserts, snowy
mountains, savannah to more anthropogenic environments such as villages and cities. Vervet
monkeys spend a large amount of time foraging on the ground, making them susceptible to soiltransmitted helminths.
The present study investigated the natural occurrence of Strongyloides spp. in two vervet
monkey troops in Kuti Wildlife Reserve, Malawi. Faecal samples from each troop were
analysed (n=60) and the results showed a significantly higher prevalence (p<0.0001) in the
troop in close proximity to humans (83%) than in the troop with sparse human contact (6.7%).
The findings were in line with a previous study performed by Thatcher (2018), were four
different localities were included. Vervet monkeys on the sites with higher anthropogenic
disturbance had a higher parasite load. This suggests that anthropogenic disturbance indeed
does affect the prevalence of Strongyloides spp., although since the number of samples was low
the results should be cautiously interpreted.
Another interesting finding in the present study was that the troop with higher prevalence had
a smaller sized home range, a factor which is linked to increased parasite load in previous
studies. For future studies, correction for host density, larger sample size, more troops and
molecular analysis to demonstrate host-shifts are suggested.

Main title:Natural occurrence of Strongyloides spp. in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) in Kuti Wildlife reserve, Malawi
Subtitle:assessment of correlation between anthropogenic disturbance and Strongyloides spp. infection
Authors:Camber, Ana-Marija
Supervisor:Fall, Nils
Examiner:Alvåsen, Karin
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:VY002 Veterinary Medicine Programme 330 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
Keywords:vervet monkeys, parasite, strongyloides fuelleborni, strongyloides stercoralis, anthroponotic
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Pests of animals
Deposited On:10 Aug 2020 11:04
Metadata Last Modified:11 Aug 2020 01:01

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