Clostridium difficile Enterocolitis in a Captive Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

Alexandra R. Armstrong, Arno Wünschmann, Lora H. Rigatti, Edwin C. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Clostridium difficile is a well-documented cause of enterocolitis in several species, including humans, with limited documentation in New World nonhuman primates. We report several cases of C. difficile–associated pseudomembranous enterocolitis, including a case in a Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and several cases in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). The histologic lesions included a spectrum of severity, with most cases characterized by the classic “volcano” lesions described in humans and several other animal species. C. difficile was isolated from the colon of the spider monkey, while the presence of toxin A or toxin B or of the genes of toxin A or B by polymerase chain reaction served as corroborative evidence in several affected marmosets. C. difficile should be considered a cause of enterocolitis in these species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-963
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the animal keepers and Dr. Micky Trent from the Como Park Zoo for providing the medical history of the spider monkey and Dr. Julia Oluoch at University of Pittsburgh for the care and provision of the medical history of the marmosets. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the University of Pittsburgh and University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory histology, bacteriology, and molecular diagnostic laboratories for their contributions, along with the Minnesota Department of Health. This research received no specific grant support from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • Ateles geoffroyi
  • Callithrix jacchus
  • Clostridium difficile
  • pseudomembranous enterocolitis


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