The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

An investigation of a Shigellosis outbreak in a Rhesus macaque population: the importance of rank and status


1Anthropology, Wagner College, 2Caribbean Primate Research Center, University of Puerto Rico

Saturday 2:15-2:30, 200ABC Add to calendar

In March of 2010, a free-ranging colony of rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, located on the island of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, experienced an outbreak of shigellosis. The subsequent epizootic lasted approximately 49 days. There were a total of 105 reported cases and a total of 52 animals of 1058 died. It was evident that some groups were more adversely affected than others. Therefore, we proposed to examine the available data for any factors that may have caused greater vulnerability to the disease. We analyzed the relationships between those affected (including if they had symptoms, were treated, or died) and factors such as sex, age, group membership, and rank. According to the univariate analyses, sex was not a significant factor in whether or not monkeys were affected by the outbreak. However, age, group membership, and rank were all found to be significant at p=.05. Logistic regression modeling procedures will allow us to further evaluate which of these several factors most significantly increased the odds of both morbidity and mortality. This research will provide crucial direction in identifying where initial attention should be given at the onset of future such outbreaks. It also suggests that while rank has been shown to be significant in predicting rates of infection among other old world monkey troops, exactly how it does so may vary greatly by disease type and transmission pathways.

This project was supported by the National Center for Research Resources and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) of the National Institutes of Health through Grant Number 8 P40 OD012217-25.

comments powered by Disqus