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Transmission of pterygodermatites nycticebi in a colony of goeldi's monkeys (Callimico goeldii) And evaluation of treatment and control

By Annina Balsiger, Karin Federer, Felix Grimm and Peter Deplazes


Over a 2-yr period, four Goeldi's monkeys (Callimico goeldii) died in a private zoo due to infections with the spirurid nematode Pterygodermatites nycticebi. Therapeutic measures with different anthelmintics were not successful. Due to the severe consequences caused by these infections, different actions were initiated, including sanitation measures and controlling of potential intermediate hosts (coprophagous arthropods). To identify possible intermediate hosts, arthropod species detected in the enclosure—parasite-free German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), European earwigs (Forficula auricularia), and rough woodlice (Porcellio scaber)—were experimentally fed with feces of monkeys with patent P. nycticebi infections, resulting in established infections with third-stage larvae (L3) in roaches and earwigs. Furthermore, spiruroid L3 were detectable in 43% of the roaches and 30% of earwigs caught at the zoo. Polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis of eggs, larval, and adult stages resulted in identical results, confirming the establishment of the parasite's life cycle in the zoo. This is the first documentation of the vector capacity of the European earwigs for P. nycticebi. As a measure of sanitation, a large part of the enclosure was emptied and cleaned. The Goeldi's monkeys were quarantined and treated with levamisole (7.5 mg/kg sc twice in intervals of 2 wk). Repeated coprologic examinations by zinc chloride flotation were undertaken. After the levamisole therapy, eggs were not found in the feces for 3 mo. However, shortly after resettling the monkeys into the sanitized enclosure, reshedding of small amounts of spirurid eggs was observed, whereupon deworming with levamisole was prescribed several times per year. The sanitation measures and the elimination of the intermediate hosts in a natural enclosure are presented as an example of the long-term controlling of the parasites

Topics: Institute of Parasitology, 570 Life sciences; biology, 610 Medicine & health, 600 Technology
Publisher: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1638/2017-0177.1
OAI identifier:
Provided by: ZORA
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