Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Vet Res. 2010 Aug;71(8):925-33. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.71.8.925.

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.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the pathogenesis and transmission of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV1) by analyzing various elephant fluid samples with a novel EEHV1-specific real-time PCR assay.

ANIMALS:

5 apparently healthy captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) from the same herd.

PROCEDURES:

A real-time PCR assay was developed that specifically detects EEHV1. The assay was used to evaluate paired whole blood and trunk-wash samples obtained from the 5 elephants during a 15-week period. Deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing and viral gene subtyping analysis were performed on trunk-wash DNA preparations that had positive results for EEHV1. Viral gene subtypes were compared with those associated with past fatal cases of herpesvirus-associated disease within the herd.

RESULTS:

The PCR assay detected viral DNA to a level of 1,200 copies/mL of whole blood. It was used to detect EEHV1 in trunk secretions of 3 of the 5 elephants surveyed during the 15-week period. Viral gene subtyping analysis identified 2 distinct elephant herpesviruses, 1 of which was identical to the virus associated with a previous fatal case of herpesvirus-associated disease within the herd.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

EEHV1 was shed in the trunk secretions of healthy Asian elephants. Trunk secretions may provide a mode of transmission for this virus. Results of this study may be useful for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of EEHV1-associated disease and the overall management of captive elephant populations.

PMID:
20673092
PMCID:
PMC3725808
DOI:
10.2460/ajvr.71.8.925
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center