Capillaria hepatica (Nematoda) infections in human-habituated mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) of the Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda

Thaddeus K. Graczyk, Linda J Lowenstine, Michael R. Cranfield

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30 Scopus citations


Habituation to humans of free-ranging populations of endangered mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) raised concern of anthropozoonotic transmission of parasitic helminths and protozoans. Examinations of liver tissue of 19 gorillas found dead in the Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda, revealed 10 cases of hepatic nematodiasis due to Capillaria hepatica. Identifiable C. hepatica eggs were present in the liver of 4 gorillas (3 juveniles, 1 adult), and nematode crosssections were found in 1 juvenile gorilla. Six other adult gorillas had areas of periportal and subcapsular fibrosis with calcified eggs. Histologically, the lesions surrounded by the areas of mild inflammatory reaction were characterized by subcapsular, periportal foci of fibrosis in which were embedded numerous C. hepatica eggs. Control of hepatic capillariasis in the remaining populations of mountain gorillas should be focused on eradication or control of populations of rodent pests (i.e., mice and rats) that sustain the reservoir of C. hepatica in habitats shared by gorillas and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1168-1170
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology

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