Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD) threatens Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) population sustainability in North America. Clusters of cases have also been reported in African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Risk to range country elephant populations is unknown. Currently, EEHV detection depends upon sampling elephants trained for invasive blood and trunk wash collection. To evaluate noninvasive sample collection options, paired invasively collected (blood, trunk wash and oral swabs), and noninvasively collected (chewed plant and fecal) samples were compared over 6 wk from 9 Asian elephants and 12 African elephants. EEHV shedding was detected simultaneously in a paired trunk wash and fecal sample from one African elephant. Elephant γ herpesvirus-1 shedding was identified in six chewed plant samples collected from four Asian elephants. Noninvasively collected samples can be used to detect elephant herpesvirus shedding. Longer sampling periods are needed to evaluate the clinical usefulness of noninvasive sampling for EEHV detection.
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