Although protozoal infections in nonhuman primates are common, they generally cause only subclinical disease. Most of the protozoa and especially the enterics can be found in asymptomatic animals, and it is difficult to attribute disease to them even if found in sick animals. However, the potential for zoonotic and epizootic spread is significant and should be considered when handling nonhuman primates. The clinical infections in nonhuman primates most likely to require therapy are amebiasis and balantidiasis. Many other protozoal diseases, for a variety of reasons, have little clinical significance in nonhuman primates, although the clinician should be aware of them. These diseases include trypanosomiasis, malaria, toxoplasmosis, leishmaniasis, prioplasmosis, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, hepatocystosis, sarcocystosis, babesiosis, coccidiosis, troglodytella infection, and encephalitozoonosis. Good sanitation and common sense will limit to prevent zoonotic transmission or epizoonotic spread of protozoal infections. Therapy for these infections is generally palliative but medications that work well in humans or other animals are usually satisfactory for use in nonhuman primates.
- nonhuman primates
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