Schistosoma Mansoni and Soil Transmtted Helminths in Olive Baboons and Potential Zoonosis
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Zoonotic pathogens are among the most important causes of ill health all over the world. The presence of these pathogens in free ranging baboons may have significant implications for humans. In Kenya, the encroachment of wildlife habitats has led to increased interaction between humans and wildlife especially non-human primates. The current study therefore aimed at investigating any possible zoonotic gastrointestinal helminths of olive baboons (Papio anubis) at the human–wildlife interface in two park borders and a ranch in Kenya, namely, Tsavo West National Park, Tana River Primate Reserve and Mutara Ranch, Laikipia, Kenya. One hundred and forty-seven baboons were used in the study. They were trapped in the wild, sampled for stool marked and then released back to the wild. Gastrointestinal (GIT) helminths identified were Strongyloides, Oesophagostomum, Enterobius spp and Trichuris Trichiura from all the three sites while Schistosoma mansoni was only detected from Tsavo baboons and with very low incidence (2.1%). The prevalence of these parasites varied among the sites but significant difference in prevalence was only noted in Strongyloides and Oesophagostomum (p < 0.05) among the three sites. This therefore implies that even with control measures instituted on the human population, baboons will always be a source of zoonotic GIT helminths especially S. mansoni even if the incidence are low. There is need to put in place measures aiming to reduce their interactions with humans and also try to control these infections in the baboons.