CLINICAL INFECTION OF CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 4

Angela Fuery, Geoffrey R. Browning, Jie Tan, Simon Long, Gary Selwyn Hayward, Sherry K. Cox, Joseph P. Flanagan, Maryanne E. Tocidlowski, Lauren L. Howard, Paul D. Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants. A number of EEHV types and subtypes exist, where most deaths have been caused by EEHV1A and EEHV1B. EEHV4 has been attributed to two deaths, but as both diagnoses were made postmortem, EEHV4 disease has not yet been observed and recorded clinically. In this brief communication, two cases of EEHV4 infection in juvenile elephants at the Houston Zoo are described, where both cases were resolved following intensive treatment and administration of famciclovir. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction detected EEHV4 viremia that correlated with clinical signs. High levels of EEHV4 shedding from trunk wash secretions of the first viremic elephant correlated with subsequent infection of the second elephant with EEHV4. It is hoped that the observations made in these cases--and the successful treatment regimen used--will help other institutions identify and treat EEHV4 infection in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Asian elephant
  • EEHV4
  • Elephas maximus
  • Famciclovir
  • qPCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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