An Evaluation of the Oral Microbiome and Potential Zoonoses of the Southern Thick-Tailed or Greater Galago (Otolemur crassicaudatus)

Antoinette Kotze, Desire Dalton, Michael Strinden, Michelle L. Sauther, Frank P. Cuozzo, Anne C. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the southern thick-tailed or greater galago (Otolemur crassicaudatus) is ubiquitous throughout parts of southern Africa they are thought to be of little conservation risk. As such, this species is seldom studied and relatively little is known of their behavior and biology. This research partially addresses this lack
of knowledge by investigating the oral microbiome for potential zoonoses. Real-time PCR was used for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. leprae whereas next generation MiSeq Illumina sequencing was conducted on the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S rRNA) with a universal primer set which amplified the variable V3 and V4 regions to quantify the amount of different bacterial taxa. Major bacterial taxa of each tested oral microbiome were isolated, and those with potential for causing disease in humans and domestic animals were identified. The results illustrated a potential core microbiome for all O. crassicaudatus consisting of three separate bacterial taxa: Mannheimia caviae, Porphyromonas catoniae and Gemella cunicula that were present in all samples. The qPCR analysis did not detect the presence of mycobacteria. Several potentially pathogenic bacterial strains were observed that are known to result in disease in human and domestic animals.
These findings thus form an important basis for several future avenues of potential research to assess any real zoonotic risks associated with O. crassicaudatus either to or from human and/or domestic animal populations
of southern Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalAfrican primates
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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