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Deadly Human Bacteria Now Infects Chimps

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Chimpanzees in African sanctuaries are catching human strains of drug-resistant staph, a new study finds. Experts warn that infected chimps could spread the deadly bug to other apes if reintroduced to the wild — or the pathogen could jump back to humans in a more dangerous form.

Strains of staph (Staphlyococcus aureus) were found in 36 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), or over half of those tested, at two sanctuaries — Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia, and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda. A handful of the cases showed signs of multi-drug resistance, the most dangerous form of the bacteria, according to a statement from Emory University.
 
 

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