To facilitate ecotourism and research, free-ranging mountain gorillas of Uganda have been habituated to humans. Testing of fecal samples of gorillas (n = 100), people sharing gorilla habitats (n = 62), and local pre- and postweaned cattle (n = 50) having access to these habitats with fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated monoclonal antibodies revealed Giardia duodenalis cysts at prevalences of 2.5, and 10%, respectively. The identification of G. duodenalis was confirmed by fluorescent in situ hybridization with 2 species-specific 18-bp oligonucleotide probes conjugated to hexachlorinated 6-carboxyfluorescein. The mean pathogen concentration was 2.5, 2.8, and 0.2 × 104 cysts/g of the gorilla, people, and cattle feces, respectively. All cyst isolates aligned with genotype (assemblage) A, as confirmed by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of a 130-bp region near the 5′ end of the small subunit-ribosomal RNA gene. A single genotype (assemblage) A recovered from 3 genetically distant but geographically united host groups indicates anthropozoonotic transmission of G. duodenalis. A large percentage of the local community does not follow park regulations regarding the disposal of their fecal waste, as self-reported in a questionnaire. This genotype may have been introduced into gorilla populations through habituation activities and may have then been sustained in their habitats by anthropozoonotic transmission.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Parasitology|
|State||Published - Oct 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics