Abstract # 5995 Event # 93:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 11:10 AM-11:25 AM: Session 14 (Mary Gay) Oral Presentation


THE CORRELATION OF ALOPECIA AND ANXIETY BEHAVIOR IN RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

K. Coleman1, D. H. Gottlieb1, C. K. Lutz2, J. M. Worlein3, E. Peterson4, G. H. Lee3, K. Rosenberg4, M. T. Menard4 and M. A. Novak4
1Oregon National Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA, 2Southwest National Primate Research Center, 3Washington National Primate Research Center, 4University of Massachusetts Amherst
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     Alopecia is a ubiquitous, multifaceted problem at facilities caring for captive rhesus macaques. We examined whether anxiety behaviors correlated with alopecia in indoor-housed rhesus macaques. We assessed alopecia in 56 male and 62 female subjects at 4 different primate centers. We utilized a cage side version of the Human Intruder test (HIT), a commonly used test for anxiety, to assess response to four conditions: no human present, human stranger standing next to the cage without making eye contact (NEC), stranger making direct eye contact (stare) and stranger with back turned. All videos were coded at one facility. Males and females differed with respect to several variables and were thus analyzed separately. There were facility differences with respect to several variables including reactivity to the stranger (males: Kruskal-Wallis H=12.4, p<0.01, females: H=7.5, p<0.02), as well as amount of time spent in the back of the cage (males: H=14.8, p<0.001; females: H=7.7, p=0.02). We used generalized linear modeling to examine the relationship between the behaviors and alopecia, with facility and age as covariates. For males, time spent in the back of the cage (away from the human) in NEC positively predicted alopecia (p<0.02), although this was not found for the females. While more work is needed to validate these results, they suggest that behavior on the HIT test may predict alopecia, at least for males.