Longitudinal study of Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, indicates intermittent shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 during pregnancy

Bennett, Laura and Dunham, Stephen P. and Yon, Lisa and Chapman, Sarah and Kenaghan, Megan and Purdie, Laura and Tarlinton, Rachael E. (2015) Longitudinal study of Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, indicates intermittent shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 during pregnancy. Veterinary Record Open, 2 (1). e000088. ISSN 2052-6113

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Abstract

Introduction: EEHV-1 is a viral infection of elephants that has been associated with a fatal haemorrhagic syndrome in Asian elephants. Previous studies have suggested that pregnant animals may shed more virus than non-pregnant animals.

Methods: This study examined whether pregnancy affected the frequency or magnitude of shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 (EEHV1) using Taq man real-time PCR on trunk washes from four female elephants from a UK collection over three time periods between 2011 and 2014. These periods included pregnancies in two animals (period 1 and period 3). Behavioural observations made by keepers were also assessed.

Results: During period 1 there was a high degree of social hierarchical instability which led to a hierarchy change, and was associated with aggressive behaviour. Also during period 1 EEHV-1 shedding was of a higher magnitude and frequency than in the latter two time periods.

Conclusions: These results suggest that there is no clear relationship between shedding and pregnancy, and that behavioural stressors may be related to an increase in EEHV-1 shedding.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1136/vetreco-2014-000088
Depositing User: Tarlinton, Dr Rachael
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2016 09:39
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 22:20
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/32104

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