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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2388

Wood, C; Fang, S G; Hunt, A; Streich, W J; Clauss, M (2003). Increased iron absorption in lemurs: quantitative screening and assessment of dietary prevention. American Journal of Primatology, 61(3):101-110.

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Iron storage disease (ISD) in lemurs has been reported since as early as the 1960s, and in the 1980s was demonstrated to be a consistent finding in postmortem investigations of captive lemurs. Since then this disease has consistently been diagnosed at the point of necropsy. In the current study we describe a preclinical screening procedure, as well as the quantified preventive effects of dietary intervention upon iron absorption. Twenty-three individual lemurs of four species were initially tested with the transferrin saturation test (%TS); 21 of these animals were on conventional zoo diets, and two were fed a specific diabetic diet. Initially, 20 of 21 lemurs on conventional zoo diets were demonstrated to have %TS levels above the normal range for humans; 17 of these lemurs were in the category (for humans) of excessive iron absorption. A dietary change aimed at reducing dietary iron and vitamin C levels and increasing the levels of iron-chelating tannins and/or phytates was instigated. After the animals were retested, a matched-pair comparison of %TS values before and after the diet change revealed significantly (P=0.038, n=7) lower %TS values after the diet change. All species averages were in the human hyperabsorption range on conventional zoo diets (n=21). No species averages were in that range after the dietary change (n=18). The results indicate that further investigations into the use of %TS testing in lemur husbandry, and specific preventive dietary measures, should be conducted.


11 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Deposited On:29 Apr 2008 07:20
Last Modified:30 Oct 2014 15:47
Publisher DOI:10.1002/ajp.10113
PubMed ID:14610728

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