Fatal Angiostrongylus dujardini infection in callitrichid monkeys and suricates in an Italian zoological garden

Parasitol Int. 2016 Aug;65(4):333-5. doi: 10.1016/j.parint.2016.04.005. Epub 2016 Apr 16.


This paper reports four fatal cases of metastrongylid nematode Angiostrongylus dujardini infection observed in a Saguinus oedipus and a Callimico goeldii monkey and in two suricates (Suricata suricatta). All animals were kept in captivity in a zoo of central Italy. The two monkeys died with no premonitory signs, while the two-month-old suricates showed malaise, anorexia and tachypnea for a few days prior to death. Cardiomegaly and/or granulomatous pneumonia were the major anatomo-pathological findings. Inflammatory lesions were observed in the liver, heart and kidney of the suricates at histology. A. dujardini diagnosis was confirmed through both morphological identification of adult worms recovered at necropsy and molecular characterization of larvae in tissue samples. Callitrichidae and suricates are active predators and maintain their hunting behaviour in captivity and it is then likely that they were exposed to infection by preying on parasitized gastropods, intermediate hosts of A. dujardini, entering zoo enclosures from the surrounding environment. This is the first report of A. dujardini in Italy and in S. suricatta.

Keywords: Angiostrongylus dujardini; Callitrichidae; Italy; Parasites; Suricata suricatta; Zoo.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Angiostrongylus / cytology
  • Angiostrongylus / isolation & purification*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gardens
  • Haplorhini / parasitology*
  • Herpestidae / parasitology*
  • Italy
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Larva
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Monkey Diseases / diagnosis
  • Monkey Diseases / parasitology*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Strongylida Infections / diagnosis
  • Strongylida Infections / parasitology
  • Strongylida Infections / veterinary*