Genomics and Human Health in Africa Conference
MOLECULAR EVIDENCE OF Oesophagostomum stephanostomum CIRCULATING IN FREE-RANGING URBAN-RESTRICTED NONHUMAN PRIMATES IN KENYA
Peris Mbuthia1,2, Edwin Murungi2, Vincent Owino2, Mercy Akinyi3 and Maamun Jeneby1
1Zoonoses Unit, Tropical Infectious Diseases department, Institute of Primate Research (IPR), P.O. Box 24481, Karen 00502, Kenya
2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Egerton University Njoro Campus, P.O Box 536, Egerton 20115, Kenya
3Animal Sciences Department, Institute of Primate Research (IPR), P.O. Box 24481, Karen 00502, Kenya
Aim: Partial characterization of nodular worm circulating in the common free-ranging nonhuman primates in selected Kenyan urban centres.
Background: The sharing of habitat and open water points with free-ranging nonhuman primates (NHPs) may lead to faecal contamination of environment and consequently favours transmission of helminths, especially the soil transmitted nematodes, across vertebrate host species. Of importance is the nodular worm genus Oesophagostomum, considered a zoonotic nematode endemic in West African countries and non-human primates (NHPs) as one of its natural host. Despite its medical importance, little is known about Oesophagostomum species circulating in free-ranging Chlorocebus aethiops (African green monkeys, AGMs), Papio anubis (olive baboon), Cercopithecus ascanius (Red tailed monkey) and Cercopithecus mitis (Syke’s monkey) found in Kenyan urban centres in East Africa.
Methods: Eighty six faecal samples were collected by rectal swabs from anaesthetized monkeys and stored in 70% ethanol. Extracted total faecal DNA was examined for helminthic nematodes by the robust nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting partial ITS1 and ITS2 gene followed by high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis and sequencing of PCR products.
Results: PCR-HRM detected Oesophagostomum genetic material in 20/86 (23%) of the faecal samples. Distinct melt curves from HRM analysis and representative DNA sequences closely matched published O. stephanostomum sequences on NCBI platform. Phylogenetic analysis resolved the sequences into a clade that clustered with O. stephanostomum infecting Gorillas and chimpanzee from West and East Africa.
Conclusion: As contacts between humans and NHPs increases because of rapid urbanization and human population growth, molecular data from this study emphasizes that Oesophagostomum species should be considered as parasite of zoonotic concern beyond its acceptable foci of infection in West Africa.
Miss Peris Mbuthia, zoonoses Unit-Tropical Infectious Diseases department, Institute of Primate Research (IPR)