Serum iron metabolites in an opportunistic sample of different captive primate species


  • Scientific Writing Experience at the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians 2010 Student Summer School

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    • Participants: M. A. Eichelmann, D. Fischer, M. Heilmann, H. Bernstorf Hydeskov, M. Kunze, L. Landaverde, I. Leinweber, A. M. Wendelboe Nielsen, E. Pintus, J. Reiners, T. Risch, K. Schroeder, H. Schumann, S. Soloperto, M. Stötter, M. Thielking, S. Uccheddu, H. Völkert, E. Wehrmeister.
    • Instructor: Marcus Clauss, Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstr. 260, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
    • Sample collection and analysis: Nicole Schmid-Brunclik; additional samples provided by Petra Wesche.
    • Statistical advice: W. Jürgen Streich, Leibniz-Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin, Germany.
    • Project supervisors: Max Gasmann, Institute of Veterinary Physiology and Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), Switzerland, and Jean-Michel Hatt, Clinic of Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zürich, Switzerland.


Previous reports in the literature indicate that primate species differ in their iron metabolism. Analyses were carried out of 229 serum samples of 18 different species, including marmosets, lemurs, woolly monkeys, colobines, macaques, baboons and great apes, for transferrin saturation (%TS), an indicator of iron absorption. In correspondence with our expectations based on the literature, lemurs and marmosets had significantly higher %TS values than great apes and macaques/baboons. The findings corroborate patterns previously described in individual studies, and underline that further efforts should be made to understand the reasons and consequences of these differences in iron metabolism.