Why Macaque monkeys for Pets Makes a Bad Idea

Here is one reason not to have a macaque as a pet. A survey of 38 captive monkeys in Thailand found 24% tested positive for dengue virus antibodies, Japanese encephalitis and Chikungunya virus antibodies also detected.

Northern Pig-tailed Macaque at the Monkey Scho...

Northern Pig-tailed Macaque at the Monkey School on Koh Lanta Yai, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajp.22213/abstract

Dengue, Japanese encephalitis and Chikungunya virus antibody prevalence among captive monkey (Macaca nemestrina) colonies of Northern Thailand

The potential of Macaca nemestrina leonina in Thailand to be infected by endemic arboviruses was assessed. The prevalence of antibodies of three arboviruses actively circulating in Thailand was determined by Plaque Reduction Neutralization assay procedures using samples from captive colonies in Northern Thailand. Out of 38 macaques, 9 (24%) presented reacting antibodies against dengue virus, 5 (13%) against Japanese encephalitis virus, and 4 (10%) against Chikungunya virus. Our results indicate that the northern pig-tailed macaque in Thailand can be infected by these arboviruses, inferring therefore that their virus specific vectors have bitten them. Given that, northern pig-tailed macaque represents an abundant population, living in close range to human or in peridomestic setting, they could play a role as potential reservoir host for arboviruses circulating in Thailand.

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