First report of Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in wild-caught Caribbean African green monkeys

Clare M. Hamilton, Frank Katzer, Amy Beierschmitt, Esteban Soto Martinez, Elisabeth A. Innes, Patrick J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite capable of infecting all warm-blooded animals. Humans can become infected by ingesting infective oocysts from the environment or contaminated food or water, or by ingesting tissue cysts in undercooked infected meat or by handling infected meat. Caribbean African green monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus) are present in large numbers on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean, and it is not uncommon for these animals to be trapped and eaten by islanders. The aim of this study was to determine T. gondii infection in Caribbean African green monkeys. Findings: Sera collected from 79 wild-caught Caribbean African green monkeys were examined for T. gondii antibodies by ELISA. Antibodies were detected in 38 out of 79 (48.1%) monkeys. Significantly more females were infected than males but there was no significant effect of age or location on antibody status. Conclusions: Results indicate that Caribbean African green monkeys can be infected with T. gondii and that there is widespread environmental contamination of St. Kitts with oocysts. These monkeys could present a potential source of T. gondii infection if their meat is consumed undercooked. This is the first report of T. gondii antibodies in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number571
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorocebus sabaeus
  • Seroprevalence
  • St. Kitts
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Vervet monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine(all)


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