Research Alert

 

New Threat to Wild Lemurs: Worms from Dogs

 

1. With human encroachment and associated increases in free-roaming dog populations in Madagascar, we examined lemurs for zoonotic canid pathogens and found for the first molecular detection of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in a wild non-human primate, the mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus). 
2. Zoonotic D. immitis infection has been associated with clinical pathology that includes serious and often fatal cardiac and pulmonary reactions. 
3. D. immitis presents a new potential conservation threat to lemurs, and the authors highlight the need for wide-ranging and effective interventions, particularly near protected areas, to address this growing conservation issue. 

 

Study and Journal:  "Causative agent of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) detected in wild lemurs"   from  International Journal for Parasitology-Parasites and Wildlife 
WCS Co-Author(s):  C. A. Chapman , WCS Conservation Fellow

 

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International Journal for Parasitology-Parasites and Wildlife