Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex in New World Monkeys in Peru

Marieke Rosenbaum, Patricia Mendoza, Bruno M. Ghersi, Alicia K. Wilbur, Amaya Perez-Brumer, Nancy Cavero Yong, Matthew R. Kasper, Silvia Montano, Joseph R. Zunt, Lisa Jones-Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex causes tuberculosis in humans and nonhuman primates and is a global public health concern. Standard diagnostics rely upon host immune responses to detect infection in nonhuman primates and lack sensitivity and specificity across the spectrum of mycobacterial infection in these species. We have previously shown that the Oral Swab PCR (OSP) assay, a direct pathogen detection method, can identify the presence of M. tuberculosis complex in laboratory and free-ranging Old World monkeys. Addressing the current limitations in tuberculosis diagnostics in primates, including sample acquisition and pathogen detection, this paper furthers our understanding of the presence of the tuberculosis-causing bacteria among New World monkeys in close contact with humans. Here we use the minimally invasive OSP assay, which includes buccal swab collection followed by amplification of the IS6110 repetitive nucleic acid sequence specific to M. tuberculosis complex subspecies, to detect the bacteria in the mouths of Peruvian New World monkeys. A total of 220 buccal swabs from 16 species were obtained and positive amplification of the IS6110 sequence was observed in 30 (13.6%) of the samples. To our knowledge, this is the first documentation of M. tuberculosis complex DNA in a diverse sample of Peruvian Neotropical primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-297
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • direct pathogen detection
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex
  • new world monkey
  • nonhuman primate
  • oral swab PCR
  • Peru
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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