Abstract # 4523 Poster # 191:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 21 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


THE NATURE OF HUMAN-MONKEY INTERACTIONS IS ASSOCIATED WITH PATHOGEN PREVALENCE IN COMMENSAL RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) IN DEHRADUN, INDIA

B. A. Beisner1,2,3, A. Heagerty1,2,3, K. Fernandez2, D. E. Minier1,2,3, S. K. Seil1,2, E. R. Atwill1,2, B. K. Gupta4, N. P. Chauhan5 and B. McCowan1,2,3
1University of California Davis, International Institute for Human-Animal Networks, School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, 3California National Primate Research Center, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, 95616, 4Central Zoo Authority, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Annex VI, Bikaner House, Shahjan Road, New Delhi 110 011, India, 5Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun 248001, India
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     Rhesus macaques have lived commensally with humans throughout northern India for thousands of years. Recently, the overpopulation of rhesus macaques, and the resultant human-rhesus conflict, has become a serious national issue. This frequent contact between humans and monkeys creates the potential for disease transmission between the two species. We conducted a 3-month pilot study across three sites in Dehradun, India (city edge, temple, and Wildlife Institute of India campus), to characterize the nature of human-monkey conflict and its relationship to pathogen prevalence. The three sites varied in their overall frequency of human-monkey interaction as well as substrate type (i.e. presence vs. absence of trees, grass/shrubs, road/sidewalk). Across the three sites, 360 fresh fecal samples were collected and analyzed for presence/absence of: E. coli O157, Salmonella, and Shigella. An event sampling design was used to record all visible occurrences of human-monkey interaction (N = 1679), and the behaviors of each participant were noted (e.g. steal food, aggression by human, provision). Our results show that a gradient of pathogen prevalence that depended upon the type of human-monkey interaction. Across sites, E. coli O157 prevalence was positively associated with frequency of aggressive interactions between humans and monkeys (Pearson correlation = 0.96), whereas Salmonella prevalence was positively associated with provisioning frequency (Pearson correlation = 0.99). These results suggest that different pathogens may have different behavioral processes underlying transmission risk.