1994, Number 1
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Text ExtractionThe Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City received a male gorilla in 1987 as a gift from the Memphis Zoo. A year later a female was donated by the Cincinnati Zoo. The male was considered sterile and the female was not in a reproductive program due to its age (27 years old). In September 1990 they were introduced and twelve months later, a male gorilla was born. Parasitism has been a problem in almost every gorilla collection in the world. Balantidium coli is probably the only ciliated protozoarian pathogen to primates. It causes colitis and ulceration of the colon's mucosa. Several medicines have been produced to treat amibiasis in human beings in Mexico; a high percentage of its population is a carrier of this disease. Some of these drugs have been proven effective against balantidiasis. An adult female gorilla developed diarrhea 10 days after parturition; a direct smear showed numerous B. coli trophozoites and trichomonads. Oral metronidazole was not well accepted, so an injectable product was used. Dehydroemetine dihydrochloride proved to be effective when administered intramuscularly at a daily dose of 120 mg for 15 days. The adult male gorilla developed profuse diarrhea; B. coli trophozoites and trichomonads were seen in a direct faecal smear; 150 mg of dehydroemetine dihydrochloride were administered daily (intramuscularly) for 10 days, followed by injectable hemezol at a daily dose of 840 mg for 5 days and 500 mg oral hemezol twice a day for 7 days. Once the therapy was interrupted, B. coli trophozoites have been seen occasionally in the stools. Diarrhea and dysentery caused by this parasite have improved with both treatments, but eradication of the parasite has not yet been achieved.
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