Archives of Virology

, Volume 163, Issue 2, pp 495–500 | Cite as

Subclinical infection of a young captive Asian elephant with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1

  • Walid AzabEmail author
  • Armando Mario Damiani
  • Andreas Ochs
  • Nikolaus Osterrieder
Brief Report


Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) are a continuous threat for young Asian elephants. We report a laboratory-confirmed infection of a 5-year-old female Asian elephant (AZ_2016) in the Berlin Zoologischer Garten. Initially, high EEHV-1 loads were detected in trunk swabs obtained from the young elephant during routine screening. The animal showed no clinical signs except for slight irritability. EEHV-1 was continuously shed for almost one year, with fluctuations in viral load from time to time. Our investigations highlight the continuous threat of EEHV-1 to young captive Asian elephants and stress the importance of routine monitoring of captive elephants to allow early detection of infection.


EEHV-1 Asian elephants Zoo 



We thank Sebastian Bischofberger, Maksat Akhmedzhanov, and Kathrin Eschke for technical assistance. We thank Azza Abdelgawad for help with the phylogenetic tree analysis. We would like to especially thank the elephant keeper teams for the sampling.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was supported by a grant from the DFG (AZ 97/3-2) to Walid Azab, and the unrestricted funding made available to Nikolaus Osterrieder from Freie Universität Berlin.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Sample collection was done during the routinely performed veterinary health checks according to the National Animal Protection Act (Tierschutzgesetz; approval number D-AFF005–EWG).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Virologie, Robert von Ostertag-Haus, Zentrum für Infektionsmedizin, Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Instituto de Medicina y Biología Experimental de Cuyo IMBECU, CCT Mendoza-CONICET, Área de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias MédicasUniversidad Nacional de CuyoMendozaArgentina
  3. 3.Zoologischer Garten Berlin AGBerlinGermany

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