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Guest Lecture by Lisa Jones-Engel, PhD, "Bi-directional pathogen transmission between humans and nonhuman primates: Implications for conservation and public health"

"Pujo" a performance monkey in Jakarta, Indonesia ┬ęPhil and Fransiska Brain

University of Toronto Scarborough Department of Social Sciences presents:

“Bi-directional pathogen transmission between humans and nonhuman primates:  Implications for conservation and public health”


Room MW160

Guest lecture given by: Lisa Jones-Engel, PhD

Division of International Programs, University of Washington, National Primate Research Center

Over the past decades political, social and economic forces have brought human and nonhuman primate populations into increasingly frequent contact, creating new contexts for inter-specific pathogen transmission. However, given the emphasis placed on HIV/SIV, which has its origins in Africa, the issue of cross-species transmission in Asia and South America has been largely ignored.

What is needed is a global assessment of the diverse contexts of cross-species pathogen transmission which takes into account the infectious agents, primate populations, affected human populations and the diverse and complex manner in which the three interrelate. Our research group has studied bi-directional pathogen transmission between humans and nonhuman primates in Southeast Asia using a multidisciplinary approach that combines serological, epidemiological and ethnoprimatological data to describe both the pathogens involved and the contexts in which they are transmitted.

Our work has shown that humans and nonhuman primates come into contact in a variety of contexts: pet ownership, “monkey temples,” bushmeat hunting and consumption, performance monkeys, zoos, and agriculture production. In addition to describing human-nonhuman primate interactions that may lead to transmission of infectious agents we have identified evidence of both human-to-nonhuman primate and nonhuman primate-to-human transmission of infectious agents. These data have important implications for efforts to conserve nonhuman primate populations and to promote public health by preventing the emergence of nonhuman primate-borne zoonoses.

The lecture is free and is open to the public.

© University of Toronto Scarborough