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1 September 2016 PROSPECTIVE POPULATION MANAGEMENT FOR HEPATITIS B IN THE CHIMPANZEE (PAN TROGLODYTES) SSP® POPULATION
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Abstract

Hepatitis B virus causes horizontally transmitted infectious hepatopathy of primates and may progress to hepatocellular carcinoma. Historically, a small number of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) living in accredited North American zoos have been confirmed with positive hepatitis B serology consistent with exposure. However, the overall status for this population and the interpretation of these individual test results have not been established previously. The current U.S. zoo-housed population (n = 259) was assessed serologically for hepatitis B by surface protein antigen (HbsAg) and surface antibodies (anti-Hbs). Signalment, origin, current health status, history of liver disease, and hepatitis B vaccination history were obtained for each animal. Serologic status was measured directly in 86.5% (n = 224) of these individuals, with 2.2% (n = 5) of the study population determined to be chronically infected by positive HbsAg and negative anti-Hbs status. Additionally, 11.6% (n = 26) of the directly measured population tested were HbsAg negative and anti-Hbs positive, which was indicative of viral exposure. No animals were determined to be acutely infected as HbsAg and anti-Hbs positive. Although these results demonstrated a relatively low prevalence of hepatitis B infection among these chimpanzees, the varied serologic results between institutions underscored the importance of routine serologic testing, especially at times of proposed transfers, and consideration of species vaccination protocols.

Copyright 2016 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Laura Cummins Meals, Stephen R. Ross, Curtis Eng, and Kathryn C. Gamble "PROSPECTIVE POPULATION MANAGEMENT FOR HEPATITIS B IN THE CHIMPANZEE (PAN TROGLODYTES) SSP® POPULATION," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 47(3), 711-716, (1 September 2016). https://doi.org/10.1638/2015-0237.1
Received: 5 October 2015; Published: 1 September 2016
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