A new typing method to support the conservation of endangered monkeys

16 May 2017

BPRC - 1. A new typing method to support the conservation of endangered monkeys

Worldwide, various monkey species are threatened with extinction. BPRC researchers have developed a typing method that contributes to the maintenance of these species in a animal-friendly manner.

Conservation of monkeys is achieved, among other things, by captive breeding programs in zoos and re-introduction programs into the wild.  To maintain the variety of genes within a population it is important to genetically characterize the monkeys. Genetic variation is for example important for mate choice, reproductive success and protection against pathogens.

For the genetic characterization, the genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), a complex, varied system that plays an important role in the processes described above are extremely suitable. The researchers have developed a quick MHC typing method using the stool of monkeys. In this way, the typing research is not stressful for the animals. 

This new technology, published in the scientific journal Immunogenetics (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350218/), can be applied to various disciplines, especially in the context of the conservation of endangered species.