Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
Print version ISSN 0037-8682
AGUIAR, Tereza D'ávila de Freitas et al. Risks of transmitting rabies virus from captive domiciliary common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) to human beings, in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza, state of Ceará, Brazil. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2011, vol.44, n.3, pp. 356-363. Epub May 27, 2011. ISSN 0037-8682. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822011005000031.
INTRODUCTION: In the State of Ceará, a new variant of the rabies virus was identified associated with cases of human rabies transmitted by common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), which are frequently kept as pets. This new variant does not present antigenic proximity or genetic relationship to variants of the virus isolated from bats and terrestrial mammals from the American continent. The present study aimed to evaluate the risk factors of rabies virus transmission from common marmosets (C. jacchus) maintained as pets in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza, State of Ceará, Brazil, to human beings. METHODS: A questionnaire focusing on animal management and interaction between humans and primates was applied to individuals who had marmosets in the municipalities of Aquiraz and Maranguape. In order to evaluate the presence of rabies antigens by direct immunofluorescence test (DIF), samples of saliva were collected from domiciliary captive marmosets. Based on the detection of rabies antigens, biopsy samples of central nervous system (CNS) were analyzed. RESULTS: Analysis of questionnaire data verified that a close relation exists between humans and their pet marmosets, especially during management practices. Additionally, these people showed minimal knowledge regarding rabies, which represents a greater risk of infection. Of the 29 saliva samples evaluated, one (3.4%) was positive for DIF reaction and of the 11 CNS samples, three (27.3%) were positive. CONCLUSIONS: Laboratory data are in agreement with the questionnaire findings, which confirm an increased risk of rabies virus transmission due to the close relation between humans and marmosets.
Keywords : Common marmoset; Callithrix jacchus; Rabies virus; Transmission; Humans.