Ecological and population-level drivers of gastrointestinal parasitism in the Genus Papio: a meta-analysis

Tue10  Apr09:45am(15 mins)
Stream 4 - Edward Llwyd 0.01
Miss Cassandra Raby


C L Raby2; G Cowlishaw1; A C Fenton2; X A Harrison1
1 Institute of Zoology, UK;  2 University of Liverpool, UK


Emerging infectious diseases are a threat to human health and wildlife populations. Non-human primates are of particular interest due to their close phylogenetic relationship to humans, shared parasites, and their own extinction risk from novel pathogens. We use baboons (Papio) as a model primate species, since they are widely spread across the African continent, and regularly live beside and interact with rural and urban human populations, making them important to human health research.

This study presents the first investigation into key drivers of parasites across baboon species and populations. We reviewed data from 45 study sites detailing parasite abundance across five baboon species, to investigate the key environmental and population-level drivers influencing their macroparasite communities. We found that the assemblages of parasite species are indistinguishable across all African baboons. These assemblages differ across NDVI gradients, latitudinal gradients, and temperature gradients. Despite this, there were no significant correlations between parasite richness and the environmental variables, or between baboon troops. We explored variables important to the presence of key microparasites (Balantidium coli and Giardia) and macroparasites (Trichuris spp, Oesophagostamum spp, Streptopharagus spp, and Physaloptera spp), with a range of correlated variables emerging. When exploring across-population patterns of parasites, there are key environmental conditions relating to the assemblages of parasites. We can explore this further to consider how environmental change, or mitigation strategies, will influence the presence of parasite species.


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