Document Type



Parasite-host relationships are influenced by several factors intrinsic to hosts, such as social standing, group membership, sex, and age. However, in wild populations, temporal variation in parasite distributions and concomitant infections can alter these patterns. We used microscropy and molecular methods to screen for naturally occurring haemoparasitic infections in two Neotropical primate host populations, the saddleback (Leontocebus weddelli) and emperor (Saguinus imperator) tamarin, in the lowland tropical rainforests of southeastern Peru. Repeat sampling was conducted from known individuals over a three-year period to test for parasite-host and parasite-parasite associations. Three parasites were detected in L. weddelli including Trypanosoma minasense, Mansonella mariae, and Dipetalonema spp., while S. imperator only hosted the latter two. Temporal variation in prevalence was observed in T. minasense and Dipetalonema spp., confirming the necessity of a multi-year study to evaluate parasite-host relationships in this system. Although callitrichids display a distinct reproductive dominance hierarchy, characterized by single breeding females that typically mate polyandrously and can suppress the reproduction of subdominant females, logistic models did not identify sex or breeding status as determining factors in the presence of these parasites. However, age class had a positive effect on infection with M. mariae and T. minasense, and adults demonstrated higher parasite species richness than juveniles or sub-adults across both species. Body weight had a positive effect on the presence of Dipetalonema spp. The inclusion of co-infection variables in statistical models of parasite presence/absence data improved model fit for two of three parasites. This study verifies the importance and need for broad spectrum and long-term screening of parasite assemblages of natural host populations.

Publication Date

January 2017

Publication Title

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife





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