HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Deaths of Zoo Elephants Explained -- New Virus Identified

Researchers at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., have discovered the cause of death of nearly a dozen young North American zoo elephants -- fatal hemorrhaging from a previously unknown form of herpesvirus that apparently jumped from African elephants to the Asian species.

"This is very troubling because these are endangered species," said Gary Hayward, Ph.D., a Johns Hopkins scientist and co-author of a report published in the Feb. 19 Science. "And also because there may still be carrier African elephants in zoos."

Quick detection and treatment with antiviral drugs is life-saving, he added.

Asian elephants are bred more frequently in captivity than their African cousins, and a sufficient number of young elephants is necessary for bolstering the population, which is dwindling in the wild.

Of 34 Asian elephants born in zoos in the United States and Canada from 1983 to 1996, seven have died from the virus, and two more with incomplete records are suspected to have died from it. The virus appears to be latent in most African elephants, although two of seven African elephants born in North America over the past 15 years have also died from herpesvirus infection. Most of the infected elephants were young.

In their report, the scientists say that the elephant herpesvirus kills by infecting cells that line blood vessels in the heart, liver and other organs. Untreated, the virus soon causes internal bleeding and heart failure. The virus hits suddenly, killing in a few days.

The "index case," or first animal identified as having the virus, was a 16-month-old Asian elephant, Kumari -- the first elephant ever born at the National Zoo. When Kumari died in 1995, her keepers were baffled.

Soon after, Laura Richman, D.V.M., now at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Richard Montali, D.V.M., of the National Zoo, began investigating the case. When exam
'"/>

Contact: Brian Vastag
bvastag@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
19-Feb-1999


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. U.S. In The Midst Of A Heroin Epidemic, But Many Overdose Deaths Can Be Prevented
2. 40 Percent Of Deaths Are Environmental
3. Fungus Suspect In Frog Deaths
4. USGS Scientists Implicate Exotic Parasite In Wisconsin Lake Bird Deaths
5. Termites Attraction To Small Amounts Of Carbon Dioxide Lures Pests To Their Deaths
6. Elephants pick up good vibrations - through their feet
7. New Key To Saving African Elephants
8. Silent Thunder: In The Presence Of Elephants
9. Virus known for its photo ops makes its movie screen debut
10. Viruses clear bacterial contamination in chickens
11. Viruses may be environmentally friendly decontaminants

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/30/2019)... , ... December 30, 2019 , ... ... Alzheimer’s Association:, ,     Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause ... provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other dementia. ,     These ...
(Date:12/23/2019)... ... December 23, 2019 , ... Detecting a small ... but the reverse situation can be quite daunting. Over the years, several methodologies ... these approaches and announces advances of their own and also that of one ...
(Date:12/18/2019)... ... December 17, 2019 , ... ... enrollment of first patients in its U.S. Phase 3 study VISTA-2 building on ... compound in patients with moderate to severe Dry Eye Disease (DED). SkQ1 belongs ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/27/2019)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... December 27, 2019 , ... ... initial clinical studies for its 505(b)(2) product pipeline that offers patients ... geriatric patients. The products concepts were identified in collaboration with doctors and managed ...
(Date:12/18/2019)... ... 17, 2019 , ... Philadelphia IP law firm Panitch ... hired Dr. Alia Orbin, Ph.D., J.D., an experienced registered patent attorney with expertise ... prosecution of patent applications related to pharmaceutical sciences, organic and inorganic chemistry, biotechnology, ...
(Date:12/6/2019)... ... December 06, 2019 , ... ... has received FDA 510(k) clearance for its latest CAPERE® Thrombectomy System for ... suggests the CAPERE® offers great benefits for first-in-line treatment for nonsurgical removal ...
(Date:12/4/2019)... ... December 03, 2019 , ... Bold Brahim aka Jesse, a Spanish ... front leg. After several weeks of medical management, his condition worsened so his owner, ... Equine Orthopedics . Results revealed Jesse had a severe injury to his deep digital ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: