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

Bennett, Laura; Dunham, Stephen P.; Yon, Lisa; Chapman, Sarah; Kenaghan, Megan; Purdie, Laura; Tarlinton, Rachael E.

Authors

Laura Bennett

Stephen P. Dunham

LISA YON lisa.yon@nottingham.ac.uk
Associate Professor

Sarah Chapman

Megan Kenaghan

Laura Purdie

Rachael E. Tarlinton



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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 4, 2015
Journal Veterinary Record Open
Electronic ISSN 2052-6113
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
Article Number e000088
APA6 Citation Bennett, L., Dunham, S. P., Yon, L., Chapman, S., Kenaghan, M., Purdie, L., & Tarlinton, R. E. (2015). Longitudinal study of Asian elephants, Elephas maximus, indicates intermittent shedding of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 during pregnancy. Veterinary Record Open, 2(1), https://doi.org/10.1136/vetreco-2014-000088
DOI https://doi.org/10.1136/vetreco-2014-000088
Publisher URL http://vetrecordopen.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000088
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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