Langurs are Asian primates belonging to the Colobinae subfamily. Langur populations are declining, with most species categorized as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Investigation into the threats to population viability and sustainability would be beneficial but there is limited literature available on common diseases or causes of death in these species, either in captive or free-ranging settings. This study aimed to evaluate the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in Trachypithecus species submitted for postmortem examination by six United Kingdom zoological institutions between 2001 and 2020, to inform best practice husbandry guidelines. Necropsy and histopathology reports from 88 individuals of Trachypithecus species from six zoological organizations in the United Kingdom were analyzed. Species included Javan langurs (Trachypithecus auratus; n = 35), dusky langurs (Trachypithecus obscurus; n = 28), François' langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi; n = 16), purple-faced langurs (Trachypithecus vetulus; n = 4), silvered langurs (Trachypithecus cristatus; n = 4), and Phayre's langur (Trachypithecus phayrei; n = 1). Morbidities and causes of death were recorded. Gastrointestinal diseases and systemic infections were the leading causes of death (27.4% and 21.0% of cases where cause of death was known, respectively); linear foreign bodies were the most common cause of death. Interstitial pneumonia was frequently observed secondary to systemic infection. Heart abnormalities, anthracosis, and hemosiderosis were common but not directly associated with mortality. Further investigation is necessary to assess the importance of these conditions and whether they predispose to other diseases. This study provides a baseline for future research evaluating captive and free-ranging langur health and highlights husbandry practices that may decrease morbidity in these species.
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16 December 2021
A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY OF MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY IDENTIFIED AT POSTMORTEM EXAMINATION OF CAPTIVE LANGURS (TRACHYPITHECUS SPP) FROM SIX UNITED KINGDOM ZOOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS: A 19-YEAR REVIEW
Mark F. Stidworthy,