Understanding the role of parasites as a threat to an animal’s health is critical for the management of endangered wildlife populations ranging in restricted habitats. In recent years, researchers observed considerable numbers of mountain gorillas suffering from a chronic wasting syndrome in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda. The potential role of nodular worms as a cause of this illness has been suggested based on postmortem examinations. To find out if this is the case, researchers will use classic and state-of-the-art techniques to analyze worm and microbial communities in fecal samples obtained from both healthy and ill gorillas in the park. In addition, the team will determine if anthelminthic treatment (de-worming) has any effect on symptoms. Findings will provide scientific-based evidence for future treatment decisions and successful management of gut parasitic infections in mountain gorillas, an approach that may help other wildlife species affected with similar infections.
Grant amount awarded
Institute of Vertebrate Biology (IVB)
Gastroenterology (Liver, Stomach, Intestinal Tract)