The prevalence of drug-resistant staph infections in captive chimps has raised questions about reintroducing captive apes to the wild.
Research found that 58% of chimps tested in two sanctuaries in Uganda and Zambia carried drug-resistant Staphlyococcus aureus. In 10% of cases, there were signs of multi-drug resistance.
Due to the close genetic relationship between humans and chimps, contact in sanctuaries promotes cross-species pathogen transmission. If sanctuary chimps are reintroduced into their natural habitat, this poses a risk to wild chimp populations.