Abstract # 6002 Event # 7:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: Session 2 (Decatur A) Oral Presentation


EPIDEMIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF RESPIRATORY DISEASE OUTBREAKS AMONG CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES SCHWEINFURTHII) IN GOMBE STREAM NATIONAL PARK FROM 2004-2012

T. M. Wolf1,2, E. Lonsdorf3, I. Lipende4, T. Gillespie5, B. Hahn6, A. Pusey7, C. Murray8, R. Singer1 and D. Travis1
1University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA, 2Minnesota Zoo, 3Franklin and Marshall College, 4Greater Gombe Ecosystem Health Project, 5Emory University, 6University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 7Duke University, 8George Washington University
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     Infectious disease is a threat to the conservation of great ape populations throughout Africa, including the chimpanzee population of Gombe National Park. Due to the large proportion of disease-associated mortality among Gombe chimpanzees, an ongoing syndromic health surveillance system was initiated in 2004 to capture observational data of clinical signs associated with specific disease syndromes: respiratory, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and wasting. The objective of this research was to establish baselines of disease frequency in an effort to more readily detect disease outbreaks in the two habituated chimpanzee communities. Using respiratory disease as a model, several methods, including the use of average monthly counts and densities of respiratory signs to establish baselines, were evaluated for outbreak detection. The baseline occurrence of respiratory disease, characterized by any combination of cough, sneeze, or rhinorrhea, was fairly low, with an average of less than one chimpanzee per month showing signs. The most frequently observed respiratory sign in both communities was cough. Preliminary analyses reveal the occurrence of 4 major and 2 minor respiratory disease outbreaks. There were no mortalities although mean morbidity associated with the major outbreaks was 49% (SD ± 30%, range: 30-100%), and morbidity of smaller outbreaks ranged 8-25%. These and other analyses will be used to generate recommendations for outbreak response, including targeted, noninvasive diagnostic sampling and enhanced veterinary monitoring.