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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.90 no.3 Rio de Janeiro May/June 1995 

Simian malaria at two sites in the Brazilian Amazon: I-The infection rates of Plasmodium brasilianum in non-human primates

Ricardo Lourenço-de-Oliveira1 

Leonidas M. Deane1 

Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Laboratório de Transmissores de Hematozoários, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


The parasite that causes simian malaria in the Brazilian Amazon, Plasmodium brasilianum, is infective to man. In this region, where humans live within and in close proximity to the forest, it was suspected that this parasite could be the cause of a zoonosis. A study was performed in the areas surrounding two hydroelectric plants in the Amazon, Balbina and Samuel, aiming at determining the zoonotic potential of this parasite. P. brasilianum was detected in, respectively, 15.8% and 9.9% of 126 and 252 primates belonging to seven and eight species examined from Balbina and Samuel. The highest malaria infection rates were found among the red-howler monkey Alouatta seniculus straminea (32.3%), the bearded-saki Chiropotes satanas chiropotes (50%) and the spider-monkey Ateles paniscus paniscus (2[1+]) from Balbina and in the squirrel-monkey Saimiri ustus (21%) and the black-faced-spider-monkey Ateles paniscus chamek (28.6%) from Samuel.

Key words: simian malaria; Plasmodium brasilianum; Plasmodium simium; Primates; Cebiadae; Callithricidae


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