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Prevalence of gastro-intestinal parasites in primates and their keepers from two zoological gardens in Ibadan, Nigeria

VE Adetunji


A study was conducted to determine the levels of infestation of gastro-intestinal parasites in 36 non-human primates (NHP) and 19 zoo keepers at the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden (UIZG) and Agodi Zoological Garden (AZG) in Ibadan, Nigeria. Freshly passed faecal samples were collected from NHP, zoo keepers, and from apparently healthy individuals (control). The faecal samples were processed using standard parasitological techniques. Twenty-two (61.1%) out of 36 NHP at UIZG and AZG were infested with gastro-intestinal parasites. Infestations at UIZG and AZG were 61.3% and 60%, respectively. All the red patas, mangabey and mandrill monkeys and 90.9% (10/11) of the green monkeys were infested. There were higher infestation rates in young NHP than in adults (P<0.05). The infestation rate in males and females were the same (61.1%). The most prevalent gastro-intestinal parasites were Trichuris trichiura (47.2%), Strongyle spp(13.9%), Entamoeba spp (13.9%) and Stronglyloides spp (5.6%). Six (27.3%) of the infested NHP have mixed infestations. Only one of the 19 zoo keepers screened was infested with Ascaris lumbricoides and two (15.4%) of the 13 members of control group (non-zoological garden workers) were infested with Ancylostoma duodenale. There was no evidence of cross transmission of gastro-intestinal helminths between the NHP and the zoo keepers.

Keywords: Gastro-intestinal parasites, Helminths, Infestation, Primates, Prevalence, Zoos