Abstract # 123:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 02:45 PM-02:55 PM: Session 13 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


E. Lonsdorf1,2, D. A. Travis1, R. S. Rudicell3, T. R. Gillespie4, J. Salzer4, C. O'Donnell1, E. Lantz1,2, Y. Nadler1, J. M. Raphael1,5, B. Hahn3 and A. E. Pusey6
1Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60076, USA, 2University of Chicago, 3University of Alabama-Birmingham, 4Emory University, 5Gombe Stream Research Centre, 6University of Minnesota

Disease and other health hazards have been hypothesized to pose serious threats to the persistence of wild ape populations. We instituted a non-invasive health-monitoring program in 2004 for the wild chimpanzee population (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in Gombe National Park, with the aim of understanding baseline levels of health in the population and to identify the presence and impacts of various pathogens. We have found that our observational assessment of clinical signs do correlate with infection status in several cases, and is therefore a valuable tool for disease detection. To investigate presence of abnormal clinical signs with respect to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIVcpz) status, we constructed abnormal event prevalences for 70 SIV- and 14 SIV+ chimpanzees who appeared in the health monitoring dataset from March 2004 through February 2008. Several of these categories showed significant differences between the SIV positive and negative cohorts, with the positive cohort showing higher abnormal event prevalences. These include signs related to poor body condition [all Wilcoxon signed ranks tests, p=0.0024], wounding [p=0.0039], lameness [p=0.04] and soft or watery fecal consistency [p=0.02]. In addition, we have confirmed substantial prevalence of Cryptosporidium [10%] and Giardia [21%] parasites in Gombe, which was highly associated with observable signs of diarrhea or gastro-intestinal dysfunction [Χ2, p<=0.0005]. Standardized, observational assessments in concert with diagnostic work provide a fuller picture of the impacts of disease in wild populations.