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First known case of paediatric inflammatory bowel disease in a western lowland gorilla may be linked to a familial mutation in the MEFV gene
  1. Britt-Sabina Petersen1,
  2. Bernd Bokemeyer2,3,
  3. Christian Wenker4,
  4. Stefan Hoby5,
  5. Katrin Baumgartner6,
  6. Hermann Will6,
  7. Marc P Hoeppner1,
  8. Stefan Schreiber1,3,
  9. Ingo Mecklenburg7,
  10. Andre Franke1
  1. 1 Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  2. 2 Gastroenterology Practice, Minden, Germany
  3. 3 Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein Campus, Kiel, Germany
  4. 4 Zoo Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  5. 5 Tierpark Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  6. 6 Tiergarten Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany
  7. 7 Department of Internal Medicine, Klinikum Landsberg am Lech, Landsberg am Lech, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Andre Franke, Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, 24118 Kiel, Germany; a.franke{at}

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We read with interest the recent work by Schwerd et al 1 showing yet another example of human monogenic diseases that can present with IBD-like intestinal inflammation. Among the genes and diseases related to these often early onset monogenic IBD cases in humans is also the MEFV gene encoding for pyrin. The DNA sequence of gorillas shows >98% identity to the human genome.2 However, so far, there are only individual case descriptions of severe colitis due to infections3–6 and, to our knowledge, no cases of IBD have been reported in gorillas so far.

We here report two closely related female western lowland gorillas living in captivity and showing partly overlapping GI symptoms, following the relocation into new groups in different zoos. The first case Enea (figure 1A) shows the typical clinical signs of a chronic IBD, most likely Crohn’s disease (CD). After a psychological stress situation, the relocation to a new zoo involving minor dietary …

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