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Molecular species identification of Trichuris trichiura in African green monkey on St. Kitts, West Indies

Yao, Chaoqun, Walkush, Jamie, Shim, Dallas, Cruz, Katalina, Ketzis, Jennifer
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 2018 v.11 pp. 22-26
Cercopithecus aethiops, One Health initiative, Trichuris trichiura, feces, genes, human population, humans, internal transcribed spacers, parasitoses, pathogens, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, risk, sequence analysis, species identification, sugars, Caribbean, Saint Kitts
The population of African green monkeys (AGM, Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) on St. Kitts, West Indies is believed to be as large as or greater than the human population. Interactions with humans are frequent and the pathogens carried by AGM, such as Trichuris spp., may pose a risk to humans. The objectives of this study were to assess the use of molecular methods for diagnosing Trichuris spp. in AGM and compare its DNA sequences to those of Trichuris spp. found in other non-human primates and humans. Fecal samples were collected from trapped and individually housed AGM between January and December 2015 and analysed using fecal flotation with Sheather's sugar flotation solution and PCR amplification and DNA sequencing of 18S rRNA and ITS2 fragments. Phylogenetic analysis was performed. 91% (81/89) and 55.4% (31/56) were Trichuris spp. positive by fecal flotation and PCR, respectively. Both AGM-NADH1 gene and T. trichiura-18S rRNA gene showed no variations in sequence and were 100% identical to corresponding sequences deposited in GenBank. Nevertheless Trichuris ITS2 showed some diversities among 12 sequences, which was <5%. Phylogenetic analysis of ITS2 put Trichuris spp. in Kittitian AGM into the same clades of T. trichiura found in human and other non-human primates in many other geographical regions. These data confirm that AGM are reservoirs for T. trichiura in humans. We suggest a one health approach to curtail enteric parasitic infections in human populations in the insular country.