Abstract # 4216 Event # 107:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 12:15 PM-12:30 PM: Session 16 (3rd Floor All Space) Oral Presentation


FROM THE MOUTHS OF MONKEYS: DETECTION OF MYCOBACTERIUM TUBERCULOSIS COMPLEX DNA FROM BUCCAL SWABS OF FREE-RANGING PRIMATES

L. Jones-Engel1, G. A. Engel1,2, A. Rompis3, N. Aggimarangsee4, B. Lee5, M. Chalise6, E. Shaw7, M. A. Schillaci8, G. Oh1 and A. K. Wilbur1
1Washington National Primate Res. Ctr., University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA, 2Swedish Family Medicine Faculty, 3Universitas Udayana, Bali, Indonesia, 4Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 5Nature Parks, Parks Division, National Parks Board, Singapore, 6Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, 7 Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society, Gibraltar, 8University of Toronto Scarborough, Scarborough, Canada
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     Pathogenic mycobacteria and the Order Primates share a long coevolutionary history. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), currently infects a third of all living humans, and is considered an infectious threat to nonhuman primates (NHP) as well. Advances in the detection of MTBC open new possibilities for investigating the effects of this poorly understood pathogen in diverse populations of NHP. Here we report results of a cross-sectional study using well-described molecular methods to detect a nucleic acid sequence (IS6110) unique to the MTBC. Sample collection was focused on the oral cavity, the presumed route of transmission of MTBC. Buccal swabs were collected from 263 macaques representing 11 species in four Asian countries and Gibraltar. Contexts of contact with humans included free ranging, pets, performing monkeys, zoos, and monkey temples. Following DNA isolation from buccal swabs, the PCR amplified IS6110 from 84 (31.9%) of the macaques. In general, prevalence of MTBC DNA was higher among NHP in countries where the WHO reports higher prevalence of humans infected with MTBC. This is the first demonstration of MTBC DNA in the mouths of macaques. The development of a test for MTBC that utilizes oral swab specimens could potentially revolutionize our ability to detect infection in NHP populations and could enhance our capacity to study transmission patterns within and between host populations.