In general, most of our veterinary knowledge about nonhuman primate dermatology has come from studies in which the animals have been used as models of disease. These authors used an etiologic approach to summarize findings from research studies or individual animal case reports in this extensive review. As with dogs and cats, nonhuman primates are susceptible to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and to bacterial infections at implant sites and from bites and other sources. Dermatophytosis, candidiasis, and subcutaneous and deep fungal infections have been reported. Demodicosis, scabies, and disease caused by Psorergates species and nematodes have also been reported. Alopecia is a common problem most often caused by overgrooming or barbering. Telogen effluvium may occur after illness. Male pattern baldness is reported to be the most common cause of alopecia in nonhuman primates. Allergy, seborrhea, and psoriasis are common chronic skin diseases. Not unexpectedly, neoplasia is common. What is most unusual in nonhuman primates is the wide array of viral diseases with cutaneous manifestations: herpes B virus, simian varicella virus, herpes complex viruses, Epstein–Barr virus, monkeypox, Yaba pox, benign epidermal monkeypox, human measles virus, papillomavirus, hemorrhagic fever virus, and simian retrovirus.
COMMENTARY: This is an excellent review article for clinicians who may encounter nonhuman primates in their practices. Of particular importance is the discussion of herpes B virus, which can cause fatal encephalitis in humans. Transmission can occur via bites, scratches, or contact with bodily secretions. The review contains a contact for a laboratory whose primary mission is to diagnose infections in humans and macaques.
Nonhuman primate dermatology: A literature review. Bernstein JA, Didier PJ. VET DERMATOL 20:145-155, 2009.