Varecia rubra


Dutton et al., 2006

a This is not an exhaustive list but provides a good overview.

a This is not an exhaustive list but provides a good overview.

Table 3. Bacteria isolated from fecal cultures of wild lemurs


Enteric bacteria


Avahi laniger albifrons

E. coli, Enterobacter, Klebsiella pneumoniae,

Acinetobacter Enterococcus, Staphylococcus intermedius, E. coli, Escherichia, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Klebsiella oxytoca E. coli, Klebsiella ozaenae, Acinetobacter lwofii, Enterobacter amnigenus Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Streptococcus, Klebsiella ozaenae, Bacillus cereus Bacillus, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter, Enterococcus, E. coli, Pseudomonas Bacillus, Enterobacter, Acinetobacter, Escherichia, Klebsiella pneumoniae Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Enterococcus Enterococcus, Enterobacter, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Micrococcus, Bacillus, Citrobacter Staphylococcus, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter,

Enterococcus E. coli, Enterobacter


E. coli, Citrobacter, Enterococcus faecalis,

Bacillus cereus E. coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium Enterobacter, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia vulneris, E. coli,

Eulemur macaco

Eulemur rubriventer

Hapalemur griseus

Indri indri Lemur catta


Propithecus diadema candidus Propithecus diadema diadema Propithecus verreauxi deckeni Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi Varecia rubra

Varecia variegata Bacillus, E. coli, Enterobacter

Unidentifed E. coli, Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Proteus,

"lemurs" Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Junge, unpublished data Junge, unpublished data

Jung and Lewis, 2006a Junge and Lewis, 2006a

Junge, unpublished data

Junge, unpublished data

Junge and Lewis, 2003 Dutton et al., 2003

Junge, unpublished data Junge, unpublished data Junge, unpublished data Junge and Lewis, 2006b Junge, unpublished data Dutton et al., 2006

Junge, unpublished data; Junge and Lewis, 2003, 2005b Coulanges et al., 1978

be considered endemically stable or commensal. In some cases, ectoparasites that transfer to a novel host may produce more significant problems, or may also do so in situations of stress or other health compromise. Clinical signs of dermatitis associated with mite infestation have been diagnosed in both black lemurs and ring-tailed lemurs (Sauther et al., in press; Junge, unpublished data) (Figure 3a,b), and may be the result of stress and human exposure. The common observation of mesostigmatid mites on ring-tailed lemurs of Beza Mahafaly (Miller et al., in press)

Table 4. Captive lemur diseases and conditions





Meningoencephalitis Herpes simplex Bornavirus

Encephalomyocarditis Callitrichid hepatitis Hepatitis



Septicemia Tularemia Tuberculosis

Parasitic Ehrlichiosis






Nutritional Hemosiderosis

Herpesvirus Herpesvirus hominis Bornavirus

Encephalomyocarditis virus Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Hepadnavirus

Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Clostridium

Various agents; Klebsiella Francisella tularensis Mycobacterium

Ehrlichia chaffeensis

Trypanosoma cruzi

Coccidiodes immitis

Kornegay et al., 1993 Fl├╝gger and Pfeiffer, 1992 Schuppel et al., 1995 Reddacliff et al., 1997 Scanga et al., 1993 Worley and Stalis 2002

Luechtefeld et al., 1981; Bresnahan et al., 1984; Williams, 2002 Junge, 1999; Richard, 1999 Calle et al., 1993 Knezevic and McNulty, 1967

Williams et al., 2002;

Yabsley et al., 2004 DaSilva et al., 2003 Pung et al., 1998 Dubey et al., 1985

Burton et al., 1986

Spelman et al., 1989

indicates that potential vectors for Bartonella spp. and Ehrlichia spp. are present. Anthropogenic causes may also be related to an alopecia condition of wild ring-tailed lemurs at Berenty. Behavioral observations have indicated that in this area, ring-tailed lemurs are consuming an introduced plant (Leucaena leucocephala) that contains compounds associated with arrested hair follicle activity, resulting in severe alopecia (Figure 4) (Crawford et al., in press).

Dental health can also be affected by anthropogenic factors. At Beza Mahafaly some groups of ring-tailed lemurs exploit human refuse. The dental health of these groups is compromised compared to groups inhabiting a nearby protected reserve. For example, those using human resources show a significantly greater frequency of both tooth loss and tooth damage (e.g., broken, cracked, or chipped) and all cases of maxillary canine abscesses (Figure 5) occur in groups inhabiting areas influenced by humans (Sauther et al., in press).

An unidentified eye disease has been documented at Berenty Reserve in both sifaka and ring-tailed lemurs (Porteus, 1998). First noticed in 1987, a formal study conducted in 1993/1994 revealed 6% (26/412 individuals) of the ring-tailed lemur population exhibited eye pathologies including corneal edema and

Figure 3. Hair loss on the tail and body of a wild ring-tailed lemur at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.

cataracts as well as complete eye loss and blindness. At another site, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, a 3-year survey from 2003 to 2005 revealed similar eye pathologies, but in only 1% of the individuals in this population (2/161).

Arboviruses are viruses that are transmitted mainly by arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks. Of these, members of the Flaviridae family (e.g., West Nile, yellow fever) have been studied in captive lemurs to determine if they may serve as a natural reservoir for human disease (Rodhain et al., 1985). The Rodhain study found that captive lemurs may develop transient viremia with West Nile virus (WNV), without clinical signs, but the study did not evaluate viral infections of

Transient Evidence
Figure 4. Severe alopecia possibly associated with ingestion of Leucaena at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.

free-ranging lemurs. WNV has been detected serologically in brown lemurs, but no evidence of clinical disease has been reported (Fontenille, et al., 1988). Recently a study was undertaken to evaluate the level of exposure of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs in the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve to several viral agents (Sondgeroth et al., in review). Fifty samples were screened for WNV-specific and flavivirus-specific antibodies. Results demonstrated that 47/50 lemurs were positive for WNV antibodies, some with titers over 1280, suggestive of recent infection. These results support that this population of ring-tailed lemurs has been exposed to at least one flavivirus, and requires further investigation. Such information is relevant for management of this endangered species, as a measure

Figure 5. Canine abscess with drainage in a wild ring-tailed lemur at Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve.

of health assessment, and as a method to evaluate the role of this primate in serving as a host species for potential zoonotic pathogens.

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