Sympatric western lowland gorillas, central chimpanzees, and humans are infected with different trichomonads

K. J. Petrželková, P. Smejkalová, V. Céza, B. Pafčo, K. A. Shutt-Phillips, A. Todd, K. Jirků-Pomajbíková, J. Benavides, D. Modrý, I. Čepička

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated intestinal trichomonads in western lowland gorillas, central chimpanzees, and humans cohabiting the forest ecosystem of Dzanga-Sangha Protected Area in Central African Republic, using the ITS region and SSU rRNA gene sequences. Trichomonads belonging to the genus Tetratrichomonas were detected in 23 % of the fecal samples and in all host species. Different hosts were infected with different genotypes of the Tetratrichomonas. In chimpanzees, we detected tetratrichomonads from "novel lineage 2", which was previously reported mostly in captive and wild chimpanzees. In gorillas, we found two different genotypes of Tetratrichomonas. The ITS region sequences of the more frequent genotype were identical with the sequence found in a fecal sample of a wild western lowland gorilla from Cameroon. Sequences of the second genotype from gorillas were almost identical with sequences previously obtained from an anorexic French woman. We provide the first report of the presence of intestinal tetratrichomonads in asymptomatic, apparently healthy humans. Human tetratrichomonads belonged to the lineage 7, which was previously reported in domestic and wild pigs and a domestic horse. Our findings suggest that the ecology and spatial overlap among hominids in the tropical forest ecosystem has not resulted in exchange of intestinal trichomonads among these hosts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • chimpanzee
  • gorilla
  • human
  • Parabasalia
  • Tetratrichomonas
  • transmission
  • trichomonads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Sympatric western lowland gorillas, central chimpanzees, and humans are infected with different trichomonads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this