Hepatic Amebiasis in Spider Monkeys

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  • Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, and Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20014
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In the past, investigators have been able to produce hepatic amebiasis in laboratory animals only by direct introduction of parasites into the liver or its vasculature, or by other artificial manipulations. A natural model of human visceral amebiasis has been lacking. We document an extensive outbreak of amebic dysentery which took place in a colony of spider monkeys; severe hepatic abscesses occurred in many animals. The spider monkey is highly susceptible to infection with Entamoeba histolytica and could provide a valuable model for the study of the pathogenesis of invasive amebiasis.