Abstract # 176:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 09:00 AM-09:10 AM: Session 16 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Oral Presentation


A BIO-BEHAVIORAL STUDY OF CHRONIC IDIOPATHIC COLITIS IN THE CAPTIVE RHESUS MACAQUE (MACACA MULATTA)

S. Howell, D. White, S. Ingram, J. Larin, P. Morales, K. Hopper and J. Wagner
Mannheimer Foundation, Inc., Haman Ranch, Clewiston, FL 33440, USA
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     Chronic idiopathic colitis (CIC) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in captive macaques. This study focused on bio-social factors that influence CIC in socially housed mother-reared rhesus macaques at The Mannheimer Foundation, Inc. Subjects included 18 animals treated for CIC at least five times within 12 months [11 females: 7 males; 2-19 years]. Data incorporated medical records, rectal cultures, CBC, chemistry, biology, histopathology, dominance, and focal behavior [4 hours per subject]. T-tests were used to compare test and age and sex-matched control subjects [p<0.05]. Histological analysis confirmed plasmacytic colitis with crypt microabscesses and results suggest that social factors play an important role in the incidence of CIC. Subjects tended to be low dominance rank [15 of 18] and born to dams who were also low in rank [12 of 18]. However, only two dams suffered from CIC themselves. Cortisol levels were lower than controls [t=2.4, p=0.03] and results suggest mild adrenal fatigue [subjects: Mean=23.6; SD=9.92; controls: Mean=35.92; SD=11.29]. Adrenal fatigue (AF) is of particular interest as it can both impact immune function and lead to allergies and environmental sensitivity. Pre-natal stress in low ranking dams may also impact offspring immune function. These bio-social factors should be considered in future research and have implications for veterinary and captive management.