Newly discovered, lethal elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV) have been identified in both Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Carried by otherwise healthy African elephants they can be fatal mainly for young Asian elephants. Since zoos often harbour both elephant species, we conducted a survey on the presence of EEHV in Asian elephants from 12 European zoos, 3 circuses and 1 Israeli zoo. Here, we demonstrate that all EEHV that have affected Asian elephants so far belong to the EEHV1 group. We also describe the detection and the partial sequencing of an endotheliotropic herpesvirus variant (named EEHV1b) in Asian elephants, being either an EEHV endogenous to Asian elephants or indicating different sources (African elephants) of infection.
- Endotheliotropic elephant herpesvirus variants
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