Fatal disseminated encephalitozoonosis in a captive, adult Goeldi's monkey (Callimico goeldii) and subsequent serosurvey of the exposed conspecifics

Michelle R. Davis, Michael Kinsel, Katherine Wasson, Jennifer Boonstra, Mark Warneke, Jennifer N. Langan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A captive, adult male Goeldi's monkey (Callimico goeldii) (GM) presented in acute respiratory distress 4 yr after importation into the United States from Europe. Radiographs and echocardiogram were consistent with heart failure. The monkey died within 24 hr of presentation. Necropsy findings included multicentric arteritis and aortitis with aneurysm associated with microsporidian organisms morphologically consistent with Encephalitozoon species. Polymerase chain reaction confirmed organisms were Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Sequence analysis of amplicons generated by using primers specific for the polar tube protein of E. cuniculi determined the organism to be genotype II. An E. cuniculi serosurvey of potentially exposed conspecifics that represented approximately 40% of the captive GM population in the United States was conducted. Multiple individuals that had been imported from Europe with the individual of this report were seropositive via an immunofluorescent antibody assay for E. cuniculi. Multiple samples were available from 3 individuals that demonstrated a decrease in titer or reversion to seronegative status within 3 yr of initial positive status. All other GM were negative on serology. This case is unique in that the genotype identified (genotype II) was different than the genotype (genotype III) reported in other New World primate (NWP) species, the patterns of arteritis were different from the typical pattern of microsporidial vasculitis described in other species, and clinical disease was observed in an adult. Most reported cases of clinical disease secondary to E. cuniculi in NWP have been in neonates and juveniles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Callimico goeldii
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi
  • Goeldi's monkey
  • Microsporidia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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