Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26369331
Ecohealth 2015 Dec;12(4):621-33
Phylogenetic and geographic proximities between humans and apes pose a risk of zoonotic transmission of pathogens. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) of the Bolobo Territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo, live in a fragmented forest-savanna mosaic setting, a marginal habitat for this species used to living in dense forests. Human activities in the forest have increased the risk of contacts between humans and bonobos. Over 21 months (September 2010-October 2013), we monitored intestinal parasites in bonobo (n = 273) and in human (n = 79) fecal samples to acquire data on bonobo parasitology and to assess the risk of intestinal helminth transmission between these hosts. Coproscopy, DNA amplification, and sequencing of stored dried feces and larvae were performed to identify helminths. Little difference was observed in intestinal parasites of bonobos in this dryer habitat compared to those living in dense forests. Although Strongylids, Enterobius sp., and Capillaria sp. were found in both humans and bonobos, the species were different between the hosts according to egg size or molecular data. Thus, no evidence of helminth transmission between humans and bonobos was found. However, because humans and this threatened species share the same habitat, it is essential to continue to monitor this risk.