Factors influencing alopecia and hair cortisol in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Corrine K. Lutz, Kris Coleman, Julie M. Worlein, Rose Kroeker, Mark T. Menard, Kendra Rosenberg, Jerrold S. Meyer, Melinda A. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Alopecia can occur in captive non-human primates, but its etiology is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to assess alopecia and hair cortisol in rhesus monkeys and to identify the potential risk factors. Methods: Subjects were 117 rhesus monkeys at two National Primate Research Centers. Photographs and hair samples were obtained during routine physicals. Photographs were analyzed using Image J software to calculate hair loss, and hair samples were assayed for cortisol. Results: Age, days singly housed, and their interactions contributed to the alopecia model for both facilities. Sex and location changes contributed to the hair cortisol model for Facility 1; sedations contributed for Facility 2. Alopecia and hair cortisol were associated at Facility 1. Conclusions: Captive management practices can affect alopecia and hair cortisol. However, there are facility differences in the relationship between alopecia and hair cortisol and in the effect of intrinsic variables and management procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • facility differences
  • hair loss
  • non-human primate
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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