Abstract # 2529 Event # 92:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 10:00 AM-10:10 AM: Session 8 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


LOGGING CREATES UNANTICIPATED THREAT TO APE HEALTH AND CONSERVATION IN EQUATORIAL AFRICA

T. R. Gillespie1,2, D. Morgan3,4, C. Sanz5,6 and K. Cameron4
1Emory University, Global Health Institute and , Department of Environmental Studies, 400 Dowman Dr, E510, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA, 2US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, 4Wildlife Conservation Society, Congo, 5Washington University, St. Louis, 6Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
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Selective logging is a dominant land use activity in forested areas of the tropics with the potential to provide a sustainable and profitable supply of timber while simultaneously ensuring biodiversity conservation. However, selective logging results in a suite of alterations in host ecology and forest structure that may alter infection prevalence and infection risk in resident populations. As part of a large-scale investigation of patterns of parasitism and infection risk for apes in logged and undisturbed forest, we collected 48 1-m3 vegetation plots from trees of species frequented by gorillas and chimpanzees in Republic of Congo. Half of these plots were within the Kabo Logging Concession and half were within the adjacent Goualougo Triangle, an undisturbed forest. We used a modified sedimentation technique to recover infective-stage parasites from vegetative plots for examination by compound scope for infective-stage individuals of nematodes with the capacity to infect apes and/or humans. Infective stage larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis were found in 25% of ground vegetation plots in the Kabo Concession, but were found in none of the vegetation plots from Goualougo Triangle. This represents an unanticipated threat to ape health and conservation since S. stercoralis was not thought to occur in humans in Equatorial Africa and is associated with hyperinfections with the capacity for high mortality rates in apes and humans.