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Could captive chimps spread staph infections?

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Reintroducing chimps in sanctuaries to their natural habitat could expose endangered wild apes to drug-resistant staph infections, say researchers.

Drug-resistant Staphlyococcus aureus was found in 36 chimpanzees, or 58 percent of those tested at two sanctuaries, located in Uganda and Zambia. Nearly 10 percent of the staph cases in chimpanzees showed signs of multi-drug resistance, the most dangerous and hard-to-cure form of the pathogen.

“One of the biggest threats to wild apes is the risk of acquiring novel pathogens from humans,” says study co-author Thomas Gillespie, a primate disease ecologist at Emory University.

Full story at Futurity.

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