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The impact of concomitant infections by Trypanosoma cruzi and intestinal helminths on the health of wild golden and golden-headed lion tamarins

Monteiro, Rafael V., Dietz, James M., Jansen, Ana Maria
Research in veterinary science 2010 v.89 no.1 pp. 27-35
monkeys, Leontopithecus chrysomelas, Trypanosoma cruzi, animal diseases, mixed infection, helminths, Chagas disease, longitudinal studies, epidemiological studies
A 4-year longitudinal epidemiological study was carried out to evaluate the effect of infection by Trypanosoma cruzi and three intestinal helminth species on the health of golden and golden-headed lion tamarins. We evaluated health using analysis of blood counts, serum proteins, electrophoretograms, electrocardiograms and a health ranking based on physiological parameters. Among the helminths, Trichostrongylidae was demonstrated as the most pathogenic, followed by Prosthenorchis sp.; concomitant infection by Spiruridae may exacerbate the negative effects of the other two helminths. T. cruzi infection was not highly detrimental to the health of the study animals and was correlated with increased resilience to helminths. Tamarins younger than 1-year of age or older than 4-years had lower health condition. Golden-headed lion tamarins were in lower health condition because of higher parasitic prevalence. Our data suggest that when parasite community pathogenicity and prevalence are high, natural selection will allow survival only of lion tamarins in the best health condition.