Plasmodium knowlesi and other malaria parasites in long-tailed macaques from the Philippines

Gamalo, Lief Erikson and Dimalibot, Judeline and Khamisah, Abdul Kadir and Balbir, Singh and Paller, Vachel Gay (2019) Plasmodium knowlesi and other malaria parasites in long-tailed macaques from the Philippines. Malaria Journal, 18 (147). pp. 1-7. ISSN 1475-2875

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Background Macaca fascicularis (long-tailed macaque) is the most widespread species of macaque in Southeast Asia and the only species of monkey found naturally in the Philippines. The species is the natural host for the zoonotic malaria species, Plasmodium knowlesi and Plasmodium cynomolgi and for the potentially zoonotic species, Plasmodium inui. Moreover, other Plasmodium species such as Plasmodium coatneyi and Plasmodium fieldi are also natural parasites of M. fascicularis. The aims of this study were to identify and determine the prevalence of Plasmodium species infecting wild and captive long-tailed macaques from the Philippines. Methods A total of 95 blood samples from long-tailed macaques in the Philippines were collected from three locations; 30 were from captive macaques at the National Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (NWRRC) in Luzon, 25 were from captive macaques at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC) in Palawan and 40 were from wild macaques from Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) in Palawan. The Plasmodium spp. infecting the macaques were identified using nested PCR assays on DNA extracted from these blood samples. Results All 40 of the wild macaques from PPSRNP in Palawan and 5 of 25 captive macaques from PWRCC in Palawan were Plasmodium-positive; while none of the 30 captive macaques from the NWRRC in Luzon had any malaria parasites. Overall, P. inui was the most prevalent malaria parasite (44.2%), followed by P. fieldi (41.1%), P. cynomolgi (23.2%), P. coatneyi (21.1%), and P. knowlesi (19%). Mixed species infections were also observed in 39 of the 45 Plasmodium-positive macaques. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of P. knowlesi among the troops of wild macaques from PPSRNP. Conclusion Wild long-tailed macaques from the island of Palawan, the Philippines are infected with P. knowlesi, P. inui, P. coatneyi, P. fieldi and P. cynomolgi. The prevalence of these Plasmodium spp. varied among the sites of collection and among troops of wild macaques at one site. The presence of these simian Plasmodium parasites, especially P. knowlesi and P. cynomolgi in the long-tailed macaques in Palawan presents risks for zoonotic transmission in the area.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Plasmodium knowlesi, malaria, Macaca fascicularis, Philippines, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Tuah
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2020 06:43
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 00:53

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