Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria protection in chimpanzees

Date:
May 29, 2013
Source:
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Summary:
In malaria regions the parasite prevalence in the human body as well as malaria-related morbidity and mortality decrease with age. This reflects the progressive mounting of a protective immunity. Researchers now present a study which addresses the age distribution of malaria parasite infection in a group of wild chimpanzees.

Group of chimpanzees, Taο National Park, Cote d’Ivoire.
Credit: © Sonja Metzger

In malaria regions the parasite prevalence in the human body as well as malaria-related morbidity and mortality decrease with age. This reflects the progressive mounting of a protective immunity. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Robert Koch-Institute now present a study which addresses the age distribution of malaria parasite infection in a group of wild chimpanzees.

To this end the researchers collected 141 faecal samples from seven female and twelve male wild chimpanzees from Taο National Park, Cote d'Ivoire. At time of sampling the animals' ages ranged between 3 and 47 years. The researchers extracted DNA from the faecal samples, analysed it and so identified the malaria parasite-positive samples. "In the course of this 2-month study almost every individual chimpanzee of the group was found positive at least once," says Hιlθne De Nys of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the Robert Koch-Institute. "Our data further suggest that at every point in time at least one individual of this chimpanzee group is infected."

Further analyses showed that malaria parasites were detected more often in younger than in older animals. Whether these were female or male, however, did not make a difference. "This is the first indication that epidemiological characteristics of malaria parasite infection in wild chimpanzee populations might be comparable to those in human populations," says Roman Wittig of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "As in humans, the development of acquired immunity likely plays an important role in wild chimpanzees as well."

Throughout this process, malaria parasites might also contribute directly to decimating young chimpanzees. During analyses performed on more than 30 dead adult chimpanzees from the same community malaria could be excluded as the cause of death. For young chimpanzees, however, the question remains open. While it is known that mortality in young chimpanzees is high, their bodies are rarely accessible. This is because they are less likely to be found and because their carcasses are carried for several days by their mothers. "Even though at this stage, we cannot pinpoint pathogenicity of malaria parasites found in wild chimpanzees, our results suggest a continuous exposure of this population, leading to the development of a certain resistance to infection," says Fabian Leendertz of the Robert Koch-Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. M. De Nys, S. Calvignac-Spencer, U. Thiesen, C. Boesch, R. M. Wittig, R. Mundry, F. H. Leendertz. Age-related effects on malaria parasite infection in wild chimpanzees. Biology Letters, 2013; 9 (4): 20121160 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1160

Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "Malaria protection in chimpanzees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529092722.htm>.
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (2013, May 29). Malaria protection in chimpanzees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529092722.htm
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "Malaria protection in chimpanzees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130529092722.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) — River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins