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1 June 2016 THE IMPACT OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS ON THE CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) POPULATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (1995–2013)
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Abstract

Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) is one of the most devastating infections and causes of mortality in captive Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) populations. Eight confirmed fatal EEHV cases have occurred since 1995 within the captive Asian elephant population of the United Kingdom and Ireland. This report aims to review the impact of EEHV on the captive Asian elephant population in the United Kingdom and Ireland, document and compare fatal cases, and recommend a framework of monitoring within the United Kingdom and Ireland to increase the success of treatment of EEHV hemorrhagic disease (EEHV HD) in the future. Six zoologic institutions (which include zoos, safari parks, and wildlife parks) that currently house or have previously housed a captive Asian elephant group were included in this report. Medical records and postmortem results were collected from four of these institutions for each confirmed fatal case. EEHV HD was found to be responsible for 29.6% of fatalities in Asian elephants born in captivity in the United Kingdom and Ireland between 1995 and 2013. Following a review of all the cases, it is shown that although clinical signs may be associated with specific EEHV species, the swiftness of disease progression means that most body tissues are impacted 1–6 days following the presentation of visible clinical signs and treatment is less likely to succeed. Therefore, EEHV monitoring should consist of conducting regular polymerase chain reaction analysis of whole blood samples from at-risk, young Asian elephants aged 1–8 yr in order for subclinical viremia to be identified early and treatment to be started before the appearance of visible clinical signs.

Copyright 2016 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Rebecca Kendall, Lauren Howard, Nic Masters, and Robyn Grant "THE IMPACT OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS ON THE CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) POPULATION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND (1995–2013)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 47(2), 405-418, (1 June 2016). https://doi.org/10.1638/2015-0217.1
Received: 16 September 2015; Published: 1 June 2016
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