Campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, and shigellosis in free-ranging human-habituated mountain gorillas of Uganda

John Bosco Nizeyi, Rwego B. Innocent, Joseph Erume, Gladys R.N.N. Kalema, Michael R. Cranfield, Thaddeus K. Graczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

For conservation purposes and due to growing ecotourisrn, free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) have been habituated to humans. Fecal specimens (n = 62) collected in January 1999 from mountain gorillas of the Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks, Uganda, were tested for Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., and Shigella spp., and the overall prevalence of infection was 19%, 13%, and 6%, respectively. The prevalence of positive specimens was not related to the year of habituation of a gorilla group to humans. Campylobacter spp., Salmonella, and Shigella spp. infections were not distributed equally among the age classes of gorillas; most of the enteropathogens (80%), and all Shigella spp. organisms, S. sonnei, S. boydii, and S. flexneri, were isolated from subadults and adult gorillas with ages ranging from 6.0 to 11.9 yr. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. infections among human-habituated gorillas has doubled during the last 4 yr, and isolation of Shigella spp. for the first time from mountain gorillas, may indicate enhanced anthropozoonotic transmission of these enteropathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of wildlife diseases
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2001

Keywords

  • Bacterial infection
  • Campylobacter spp.
  • Habituated free-ranging mountain gorillas
  • Salmonella spp.
  • Shigella spp.
  • Survey

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