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Prosimian Preshipment Quarantine Medicine Guidelines


September 2004


Routine health monitoring should be performed on all prosimians on an annual basis. The following protocol advises that specific baseline laboratory tests be performed for the purpose of evaluating current health status. 


Minimum Database:

1.      Signalment – age, sex, origin, studbook #, ISIS#

2.      Anamnesis – Summary of health screens, medical problems, diagnostic test results, and treatment. A hard copy and disc of the complete medical record should be sent to the receiving institution in a timely manner.

3.      Complete physical examination, including a review of all systems.

4.      Body weight

5.      Blood collection

a.       Complete blood count and serum chemistry panel.

b.      Bank serum (volume dependent on species). A sample should be submitted to the Prosimian TAG Tissue Bank (see appendix). Institutions may chose to retain samples as well.

6.      Fecal analysis

a.       Parasite screen – both direct and sedimentation. Sedimentation techniques are preferred as they concentrate small numbers of oocytes.

b.      Enteric pathogen screen – Aerobic culture of feces for pathogens, specifically for detection of Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter,  and Yersinia.  Detection of Klebsiella should be noted, as this organism may be pathogenic for some species under stressful conditions.

c.       Contact receiving institution with any abnormal results and treatments

7.      TB test – intradermal skin test with mammalian PPD is recommended. This may be performed in the superior palpebra. Tuberculosis is extremely rare in prosimians but has been documented.

8.      Vaccinations – currently there are no specific recommendations for prosimians. Tetanus toxoid and rabies vaccinations are used by some institutions based on risk. Administration of these vaccinations is at the discretion of the sending and receiving institution.

9.      Shipment – Industry standards for shipment of small primates are appropriate. Access to food   and water should be provided. Crates should be secure to prevent escape or tampering. Temperature considerations should be observed.



Quarantine guidelines should follow the AZA standards. Briefly, they are as follows.

1.      All incoming prosimian primates should be quarantined for a minimum of 31 days.

2.      A complete physical examination should be performed.

3.      Blood collection – CBC and serum chemistry profile,  and serum for banking.

4.      Fecal analyses – 3 fecal examinations (direct and sedimentation) at 2 week intervals should be performed. Appropriate treatments should be done. Three negative fecals post treatment should occur before release from quarantine.

5.      Fecal culture for enteric pathogens should be considered optional. If this test was performed a the sending institution, it may be waved at the receiving institution.

6.      TB testing – 3 intradermal tuberculin tests should be administered at 2 week intervals. Animals with positive or suspect reactions should be extensively evaluated (cultures and radiography) and remain in isolation until determined clear of TB by the attending veterinarian.



1.      Annual physical examination.

2.      CBC and serum biochemical profile.

3.      Fecal examination (direct and sedimentation)

4.      OPTIONAL - Fecal culture should be considered optional. For animals with normal stool, and in institutions without histories of enteric pathogen infections, annual fecal cultures are not necessary.

5.      OPTIONAL - Serologic (ELISA) test for toxoplasmosis. Test should be a non-species specific assay such as a blocking antibody assay. This is available at the University of Tennessee (see appendix).

6.      OPTIONAL - Iron metabolism panel. Lemurs showing evidence of hepatic disease (elevated liver enzymes) should be assessed for iron storage disease. An iron metabolism panel is available from Kansas State University (appendix). Note that a liver biopsy is the only method to conclusively assess the degree of iron storage and/or damage.



Parasitology Laboratory, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996-4500.

Prosimian Tissue Bank. Randall Junge, DVM, St. Louis Zoo, 1 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110. Send frozen serum with complete animal ID, including studbook number.

Iron Metabolism Panel – Comparative Hematology Lab, Kansas State Veterinary Medical Center, Mosier Hall, 1800 Denison Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66505-5605. Sue Chavey, 785-532-4424. 1 ml frozen serum, request iron, TIBC, and ferritin. $30 / sample.


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