1Anthropology, University of Western Ontario, 2Danau Girang Field Centre, Cardiff University, 3Ecosystem and Public Health, University of Calgary, 4Global and Tropical Health, Menzies School of Health Research, 5Disease Control, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 6Immunology and Infection, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
April 16, 2016 29, Atrium Ballroom A/B
Non-human primates and humans interact in a number of different capacities that allow for cross-species disease transmission. Research on the pathogen sharing between humans and primates has focused mainly on diseases such as influenza, Cercopithecine Herpsevirus 1 (herpes B), measles, simian immunodeficiency virus, and Ebola. Although a body of research exists on non-human primates and malaria, little work has been done on the most recent strain of malaria to be discovered, Plasmodium knowlesi, for which long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques are a natural host. Largely limited to Malaysia, P. knowlesi has the shortest life cycle of all of the malaria parasites known to affect humans, and is therefore capable of becoming fatal in the event of delayed or inadequate treatment. As a component of a large, multidisciplinary project exploring the environmental, biomedical, and social risk factors for transmission of P. knowlesi, we assessed the population density of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fasicularis) in two different forest types, intact and fragmented. We used line transect and Distance sampling techniques to assess macaque density over a period of 12 months from November 2013 to October 2014. Our preliminary results reveal that macaque density was higher in the intact forest compared fragmented forest that contained oil palm, rubber, acacia, and coconut plantations. These results will be combined with radio collar data to further map the macaques’ movement in relation to nearby human settlements in order to better understand the potential for malaria transmission between species.