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PREVALENCE OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM AND OTHER ENTERIC PARASITES AMONG WILD NON-HUMAN PRIMATES IN POLONNARUWA, SRI LANKA

DILRUKSHI K. EKANAYAKEDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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APPUDURAI ARULKANTHANDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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NEIL U. HORADAGODADepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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G. K. MADURA SANJEEVANIDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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RUDO KIEFTDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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SUNIL GUNATILAKEDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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WOLFGANG P. J. DITTUSDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; Global Infectious Disease Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Department of Conservation Biology, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, District of Columbia

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Cryptosporidiosis is a rapidly emerging disease in the tropics. This is the first report of Cryptosporidium and other protozoan infections (Entamoeba spp., Iodamoeba, Chilomastix, and Balantidium spp.) in wild primates that inhabit the natural forest of Sri Lanka. It is unclear if non-human primates serve as a reservoir for these parasites under certain conditions. A cross-sectional coprologic survey among 125 monkeys (89 toque macaques, 21 gray langurs, and 15 purple-faced langurs) indicated that Cryptosporidium was detected in all three primate species and was most common among monkeys using areas and water that had been heavily soiled by human feces and livestock. Most macaques (96%) shedding Cryptosporidium oocysts were co-infected with other protozoans and important anthropozoonotic gastrointestinal parasites (e.g., Enterobius and Strongyloides). The transmission of these parasites among primates in the wild may have important implications for public health as well as wildlife conservation management.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Wolfgang P. J. Dittus, Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity, 140/12 Mapanawathura Road, Kandy, CP, Sri Lanka, E-mail: dittus@sri.lanka.net.
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