Outbreak of Balantidiosis Among Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at the Sanda Kyarimi Park, Maiduguri, Nigeria
A clinical case of balantidiosis was investigated among a colony of four chimpanzees at the Sanda Kyarimi Park in Maiduguri, Nigeria. The chimpanzees were in apparently good health until the oldest female (aged about 26 years old) became weak, dehydrated and passed bloody diarrheoeic faeces. The clinical signs were milder in the other colony mates that showed only mild diarrhoea. Faecal examination was negative for metazoan parasites but revealed large numbers of the cysts and trophozoites of Balantidium coli. The cysts of B. coli were also recovered in large numbers from the soil samples within the primate cages and colony compound. The more severely affected female chimpanzee had lower packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration and red blood cell values compared to the other colony mates. The parasites were introduced into the primate colony probably through new soil brought for flooring the compound or by the primate attendant or wild rodents within the zoo complex. Treatment with oral metronidazole was not rejected and cleared the parasites from the faeces 10 days post treatment. It is recommended that balantidiosis be considered in cases of enteritis in captive chimpanzees in Nigeria.
Keywords: Balantidiosis, chimpanzees, Maiduguri, Nigeria
Sahel Journal of Veterinary Sciences Vol. 5 (1) 2006 pp. 55-58