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Volume 8, Number 12—December 2002

Dispatch

Naturally Occurring Ehrlichia chaffeensis Infection in Two Prosimian Primate Species: Ring-tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta) and Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata)

Cathy V. Williams*Comments to Author , Jan L. Van Steenhouse†, Julie M. Bradley‡, Susan I. Hancock‡, Barbara C. Hegarty‡, and Edward B. Breitschwerdt‡
Author affiliations: *Duke University Primate Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA; †Antech Diagnostics, Smyrna, Georgia, USA; ‡North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;

Main Article

Table

Comparison of blood parameters from normal and Ehrlichia chaffeensis–infected lemursa

Normal (n=18) Infected (n=8)

Test Mean SDb Range Mean SD Range
Glucose (mg/dL) 127 55 55–238 226 88 96–337
Urea nitrogen (mg/dL) 20 5 8–29 38 14 15–57
Creatinine (mg/dL) 0.9 0.1 0.7–1.2 1.7 0.2 1.2–1.9
Total protein (g/dL) 7.8 0.3 7.1–8.2 7.0 0.9 5.3–8.1
Albumin (g/L) 5.7 0.3 5.2–6.6 5.0 0.7 3.8–6.0
Total bilirubin (mg/dL) 0.4 0.1 0.3–0.6 1.0 0.2 0.6–1.3
Alkaline phosphatase (IU/L) 240 83 125–476 89 38 44–144
Aspartate transferase (IU/L) 46 26 20–128 86 41 33–155
Alanine transferase (IU/L)c 81 51 10–210 128 85 47–321
Sodium (mg/dL) 146 4 141–152 137 3 134–142
Chloride (mg/dL) 104 4 97–111 97 4 91–103
Platelets (x103/μL) 327 132 165–685 181 135 34–410
Packed cell volume (%) 51.1 3.6 45.6–57.6 55.1 5.9 46–62.4
WBC (x103/μL)d 6.1 1.5 3.9–8.8 5.0 2.9 1.0–9.5
Neutrophils (x103/μL)d 3.6 1.3 0.3–6.0 2.8 1.9 0.3–6.3
Lymphocytes (x103/μL) 2.7 1.5 1.1–5.4 1.6 1.0 0.2–3.0

aVariation between means of normal and infected animals is significant at a confidence level of p<0.05 using the 2-sample t test, except where otherwise specified.
bSD, standard deviation.
cp=0.18.
dp=0.34; WBC, leukocyte count.

Main Article

1 Approximately 1 year after the outbreak in this report, E. chaffeensis was amplified by PCR from an ill lemur in Virginia that was unrelated to the Duke colony. The clinical and hematologic manifestations were consistent with those seen in lemurs in this report.

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