Abstract # 13411 Event # 213:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 01:30 PM-01:45 PM: (Room 309) Oral Presentation


BERTIELLA MUCRONATA INFECTION IN PARAGUAYAN ALOUATTA CARAYA: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE URBAN AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS

J. Kane1,2 and R. L. Smith1,3
1Fundación Para La Tierra, Pilar, Ñeembucú, Paraguay, 2Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen
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     Bertiella mucronata, a cestode tapeworm known to infect a variety of hosts, including non-human primates and humans was identified in Paraguay as early as 1895. However no systematic analysis of wild primates gastrointestinal parasites has ever been carried out in Paraguay. In Ñeembucú, southwest Paraguay, increased urbanization has pushed the Paraguyan howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) into anthropogenic habitats, particularly the city of Pilar. With the close proximity of wild primates and humans in Pilar, the potential for zoonotic transmission is a major concern. From July – December 2018 fecal samples were noninvasively collected from 48 howlers inside Pilar (urban environment), the Pilar Military Base (intermediate environment) and a ranch in humid Chaco 27km outside Pilar (natural environment). Macro analysis and formol-ether sedimentation were used to identify Bertiella eggs and proglottids. Howlers living in the urban environment had the highest rates of Bertiella infection (50% infectivity) when compared to intermediate (6.25% infectivity) and natural (0% infectivity) habitats. Using chi-squared goodness of fit test, there was a significant difference between the three habitat types (p-value = 0.007, X-squared = 10.005, df = 2). Bertiella infection has already been documented in humans in Paraguay, and all cases were associated with close primate contact. As howlers move into more urban habitats, B. mucronata is introduced into a new ecosystem and continues its lifecycle by infecting humans and other hosts.