WCS 3-Sentence Science
New Threat to Wild Lemurs: Worms from Dogs
August 8, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by the WCS Wildlife Health program on the threat posed by heartworm infection transferred from dogs to lemurs in Madagascar.
- With human encroachment and associated increases in free-roaming dog populations in Madagascar, we examined lemurs for zoonotic canid pathogens and found for the first molecular detection of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in a wild non-human primate, the mouse lemur (Microcebus rufus).
- Zoonotic D. immitis infection has been associated with clinical pathology that includes serious and often fatal cardiac and pulmonary reactions.
- D. immitis presents a new potential conservation threat to lemurs, and the authors highlight the need for wide-ranging and effective interventions, particularly near protected areas, to address this growing conservation issue.
Study and Journal: “Causative agent of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) detected in wild lemurs” from International Journal for Parasitology-Parasites and Wildlife
WCS Co-Author(s): C. A. Chapman, WCS Conservation Fellow
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, firstname.lastname@example.org.