Enzootic simian piroplasm (Entopolypoides macaci) in wild-caught Kenyan non-human primates

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Three species of non-human primates comprising African green monkeys (AGMs), (Cercopithecus aethiops, n = 89), Syke's monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis, n = 60) and olive baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis, n = 30), were screened for Entopolypoides macaci.


Observation of blood smears prepared from these animals revealed E. macaci infection rate of 42.7% in AGMs, 35% in Syke's monkeys and 33.3% in baboons.


Gender infection rate was 38.2% in females and 29% in males. Statistically, there was no significant difference in infection rates between the monkey species and sexes (P > 0.05). Subsequent indirect immuno fluorescent antibody test supported the morphological appearance of E. macaci observed by microscopy. Sera from infected animals reacted positively (1:625) with E. macaci antigen, but not to Babesia bigemina or B. bovis antigen at 1:125 titer.


This study has revealed high prevalence of E. macaci infection in all three widely distributed Kenyan non-human primates. With the continued use of these animals as models for human parasitic diseases, the presence of this highly enzootic parasite should be noted.

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