Subclinical infection of a young captive Asian elephant with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1
- 329 Downloads
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.
KeywordsEEHV-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.
Sample collection was done during the routinely performed veterinary health checks according to the National Animal Protection Act (Tierschutzgesetz; approval number D-AFF005–EWG).
- 8.Latimer E, Zong JC, Heaggans SY, Richman LK, Hayward GS (2011) Detection and evaluation of novel herpesviruses in routine and pathological samples from Asian and African elephants: identification of two new probosciviruses (EEHV5 and EEHV6) and two new gammaherpesviruses (EGHV3B and EGHV5). Vet Microbiol 147:28–41CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 12.Richman LK, Zong JC, Latimer EM, Lock J, Fleischer RC, Heaggans SY, Hayward GS (2014) Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses EEHV1A, EEHV1B, and EEHV2 from cases of hemorrhagic disease are highly diverged from other mammalian herpesviruses and may form a new subfamily. J Virol 88:13523–13546CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 15.Stanton JJ, Zong JC, Latimer E, Tan J, Herron A, Hayward GS, Ling PD (2010) Detection of pathogenic elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in routine trunk washes from healthy adult Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) by use of a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay. Am J Vet Res 71:925–933CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 16.Stanton JJ, Zong JC, Eng C, Howard L, Flanagan J, Stevens M, Schmitt D, Wiedner E, Graham D, Junge RE, Weber MA, Fischer M, Mejia A, Tan J, Latimer E, Herron A, Hayward GS, Ling PD (2013) Kinetics of viral loads and genotypic analysis of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 infection in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). J Zoo Wildl Med 44:42–54CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 19.van den Doel PB, Prieto VR, van Rossum-Fikkert SE, Schaftenaar W, Latimer E, Howard L, Chapman S, Masters N, Osterhaus AD, Ling PD, Dastjerdi A, Martina B (2015) A novel antigen capture ELISA for the specific detection of IgG antibodies to elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus. BMC Vet Res 11:203CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 21.Zong JC, Heaggans SY, Long SY, Latimer EM, Nofs SA, Bronson E, Casares M, Fouraker MD, Pearson VR, Richman LK, Hayward GS (2015) Detection of quiescent infections with multiple elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs), including EEHV2, EEHV3, EEHV6, and EEHV7, within lymphoid lung nodules or lung and spleen tissue samples from five asymptomatic adult African elephants. J Virol 90:3028–3043CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar