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|Title:||Developing a non-invasive method of detecting elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus infections using faecal samples|
|Authors:||Sophie M. Common|
Fieke M. Molenaar
|Abstract:||Background: Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV)-associated haemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD) is a leading cause of death in Asian elephant calves across the world. Cases of EEHV-HD have been detected in free-living calves through post-mortem examination (PME) indicating the presence of the virus in the wild. In the absence of a non-invasive sampling method, little research into free-living populations has been possible. This study aimed to provide evidence that faeces can be used as a non-invasive sampling method for the detection of EEHV excretion using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Methods: Serial saliva swabs and faecal samples were taken from five captive Asian elephants in Thailand over 12 weeks. To ensure the presence of detectable elephant DNA within the sample, qPCR was run for amplification of the Asian elephant tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α) gene, EEHV1 and EEHV4. Results: Of 28 sample pairs, seven saliva samples were positive for EEHV, of which two had paired positive faecal samples. Conclusions: This study presents the first evidence that EEHV is excreted in faeces at detectable levels. This method may in future be used for improved understanding of the epidemiology of EEHV in free-living elephant populations, as well as detection of EEHV excretion in captive herds.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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