Intestinal parasites and bacteria of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

  • Kalema-Zikusoka G
  • Rothman J
  • Fox M
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A survey in 1994 examined intestinal helminths and bacterial flora of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Parasites and bacteria were identified to genus in the feces of two groups of tourist-habituated and one group of non-tourist-habituated mountain gorillas. Eggs were identified as those of an anoplocephalid cestode, and nematode eggs representative of the genera: Trichuris, Ascaris, Oesophagostomum, Strongyloides, and Trichostrongylus. This is the first report of Ascaris lumbricoides-like eggs in mountain gorillas. Fecal samples (n=76) from all groups contained helminth eggs, with strongyle eggs and anoplocephalid eggs being the most common. Salmonella and Campylobacter were found in both gorilla groups. Regular long-term non-invasive fecal monitoring of the populations of mountain gorillas is essential for the prevention and identification of potential health threats by intestinal parasites and bacteria in this highly endangered subspecies.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Intestinal bacteria
  • Intestinal helminth parasites
  • Mountain gorillas
  • Uganda

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