Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus

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Recently, the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI), Izatnagar, Bareilly has found the exact status of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus subtypes (EEHV) and its subtypes circulating among Asian elephant population in India.

About Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus

  • It is a double-stranded DNA virus that is classified in the family Herpesviridae.
  • It causes acute, fatal haemorrhagic disease in wild and captive juvenile Asian and African elephants.
  • It is lethal for young elephants between the ages of one and 12.
  • The disease is usually fatal, with a short course of 28-35 hours.
  • Transmission: Direct contact with body fluids of infected elephants (saliva, shedding from skin lesions, etc.)
  • Symptoms: Some elephants show symptoms such as reduced appetite, nasal discharge and swollen glands.
  • Treatment: It includes a combination of antiviral therapy, aggressive fluid therapy (to counter haemorrhaging), immuno-stimulant drugs (selenium and Vitamins C, E), anti-pyretics and analgesics (to bring down fever)
  • There is no true cure for herpesviruses in animals or in humans because herpes viruses go latent.

Q1) What are Viruses?

These are microscopic organisms that can infect hosts, like humans, plants or animals. They’re a small piece of genetic information (DNA or RNA) inside of a protective shell (capsid). Some viruses also have an envelope. Viruses can’t reproduce without a host. Some common diseases caused by viruses include the flu, the common cold and COVID-19.

Source: Study of virus causing hemorrhagic disease in elephants might help in the development of diagnostics & therapeutics.