Abstract # 60:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 09:45 AM-10:10 AM: Session 12 (Medallion Ballroom A/B) Symposium


L. Jones-Engel1 and G. Engel1,2
1Washington National Primate Res. Ctr., University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA, 2Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA

Infectious disease transmission occurs within ecological and social contexts. For synanthropic macaques (macaques that thrive in human-altered environments) these contexts are largely shaped by the humans with whom they share space and resources. The human-primate interface in South and Southeast Asia is diverse and dynamic. Infectious agents exploit the interaction between humans, primates and the environment in order to move from one species to another. This talk will focus on the how the interaction between synanthropic primates, humans and changes in the environment shape the transmission of four infectious agents with contrasting characteristics: Plasmodium knowlesi, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Enteroviruses and Simian Foamy Virus (SFV). P. knowlesi is an enzootic macaque malaria whose emergence may be linked to alterations in mangrove forests. M. tuberculosis, a pathogen spread primarily through airborne droplets, infects a third of all humans and may also be a significant threat to synanthropic primates. Enteroviruses, RNA viruses that are transmitted through the oral-fecal route, have been shown to infect both humans and nonhuman primates in Bangladesh. Finally, we characterize the contexts in which SFV is transmitted from primates to humans, presenting results of ethnoprimatological survey of scientists who work with primates. An understanding of the role that synanthropy plays in the maintenance and emergency of infectious diseases is critical if we are to develop strategies to reduce the impact of pathogen transmission on primates and humans.