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23 September 2019 HUMAN PARAINFLUENZA 2 RELATED ILLNESS AND A DEATH IN A GROUP OF CAPTIVE WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA)
Émilie L. Couture, Shannon T. Ferrell, Marion Desmarchelier, Marie-Ève Hamelin, Laura Jhoana Sánchez Mendoza, Julie Carbonneau, Levon Abrahamyan, Guy Boivin, Stéphane Lair
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Abstract

An onset of respiratory disease in a captive bachelor group (n = 3) of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) was concomitant with peak attendance of visitors at the institution and with unwanted occurrences of food items being thrown in the gorillas' enclosure. While the condition of two individuals improved with supportive therapy and antibiotics, the third gorilla died three days following initiation of treatment. A fatal bacterial pneumonia, secondary to an infection by a human parainfluenza virus 2 (HIPV-2), was considered to be the cause of death based on histopathology, lung cultures, and reverse transcription PCR. HPIV-2 activity in the human population of the province was detected for that period, including the same viral strain. This report confirms a HPIV-2 respiratory illness and associated death in a gorilla. Clinical presentation and context suggest conspecifics were also affected and that contaminated food thrown by visitors may have been the source of infection.

Copyright 2019 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Émilie L. Couture, Shannon T. Ferrell, Marion Desmarchelier, Marie-Ève Hamelin, Laura Jhoana Sánchez Mendoza, Julie Carbonneau, Levon Abrahamyan, Guy Boivin, and Stéphane Lair "HUMAN PARAINFLUENZA 2 RELATED ILLNESS AND A DEATH IN A GROUP OF CAPTIVE WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 50(3), 713-717, (23 September 2019). https://doi.org/10.1638/2018-0237
Accepted: 27 April 2019; Published: 23 September 2019
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