Prevalence of faecal entamoeba, microsporidium and cryptosporidium in habituated mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Tamale, Wasswa Auther
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Infectious diseases pose one of the major threats to endangered species such as mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) and a risk of gastrointestinal parasites transmission from humans to wildlife has been considered a major concern of habituation for tourism thus the continued need to monitor their health. A cross sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of fecal Entamoeba, Microsporidium and Cryptosporidiumin habituated mountain gorillas of BINP. Eighty-one fecal samples were collected non-invasively from overnight nests from 8 gorilla groups in BINP between November – December 2018 and examined for the presence of Entamoeba cyst/trophozoites, microsporidia spores and Cryptosporidium cysts using trichrome staining technique, chromotrope staining technique and Acid fast (Ziehl-Nelseen) technique respectively. Overall sixty percent of the samples were positive for one or more of the tested organisms.Cryptosporidium (29.1%) had the highest prevalence followed by Microsporidium (17.3%) and Entamoeba (11.1%). The adult age group had the highest prevalence among all the age categories (Entamoeba-12.9%, Microsporidium-19.4% and Cryptosporidium-25.8%). However, there was no statistically significant association observed between the prevalence of Entamoeba, Microsporidium and Cryptosporidium and the gorilla group, age group and location of the gorilla groups. Although this study was able to determine the prevalence of these organisms, there is need carryout further research using more sensitive tests such as PCR. Regular screening of gorilla fecal matter for selected pathogens is important in order to maintain the health the endangered mountain gorillas.