Antimicrobial resistance creates threat to chimpanzee health and conservation in the wild

Michele B. Parsons, Dominic A. Travis, Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Iddi Lipende, Deema Elchoufi, Baraka Gilagiza, Anthony Collins, Shadrack Kamenya, Robert V. Tauxe, Thomas R. Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Infectious disease is recognized as the greatest threat to the endangered chimpanzees made famous by the groundbreaking work of Dr. Jane Goodall at Gombe National Park (GNP), Tanzania. The permeable boundary of this small protected area allows for regular wildlife–human and wildlife–domestic animal overlap, which may facilitate cross-species transmission of pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. Few studies have examined the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in wild ape populations. We used molecular techniques to investigate the presence of genes conferring resistance to sulfonamides (often used to treat diarrheal illness in human settings in this region) and tetracycline (used in the past—though much less so now) in fecal specimens from humans, domestic animals, chimpanzees, and baboons in and around GNP. We also tested stream water used by these groups. Sulfonamide resistance was common in humans (74%), non-human primates (43%), and domestic animals (17%). Tetracycline resistance was less common in all groups: humans (14%), non-human primates (3%), and domestic animals (6%). Sul resistance genes were detected from 4/22 (18%) of streams sampled. Differences in sul gene frequencies did not vary by location in humans nor in chimpanzees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number477
JournalPathogens
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 14 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
for this study comes from the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF D09ZO-041 and MAF D09ZO-634), the Emory University Global Health Institute, the Arcus Foundation, the Leo S. Guthman Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (R01 AI58715). thank the Mwamgongo Village Animal Health Officer, E. Mchalo, for assisting in the collection of domestic animal specimens. We also thank the Kigoma district health and veterinary officers, and the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology, Tanzania National Parks, and Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute for permission to conduct the research. We thank Randall Singer for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Funding Information:
Funding: Funding for this study comes from the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF D09ZO-041 and MAF D09ZO-634), the Emory University Global Health Institute, the Arcus Foundation, the Leo S. Guthman Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health (R01 AI58715).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • AMR
  • Gombe
  • One health
  • Primate
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tanzania
  • Tetracycline
  • Zoonoses

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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