Investigating Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)

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December 8, 2023

Investigating Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)










Understanding the Virus

  • Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) stands as a significant concern within the Herpesviridae family, presenting as a double-stranded DNA virus. Its impact is particularly dire among young Asian and African elephants, both in the wild and in captivity, leading to acute and often fatal hemorrhagic disease.

Vulnerable Population

  • The virus primarily affects juvenile elephants aged one to 12 years, showcasing a swift and devastating course of illness, typically spanning a mere 28-35 hours. Sadly, the fatality rate is notably high.

Mode of Transmission

  • Transmission occurs through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected elephants, including saliva and shedding from skin lesions, highlighting the contagious nature of the virus.

Recognizing Symptoms

  • Symptoms of EEHV manifest in various forms, including reduced appetite, nasal discharge, and swollen glands, serving as indicators of the viral presence.

Management and Treatment

  • Managing this viral disease involves a multifaceted approach. Treatment includes a combination of antiviral therapy, aggressive fluid administration to counteract hemorrhaging, and the use of immuno-stimulant drugs such as selenium and Vitamins C and E. Additional support includes the use of antipyretics and analgesics to alleviate fever and discomfort.

Current Limitations

  • Despite advancements, a definitive cure for herpesviruses in animals, including EEHV, remains elusive due to their tendency to enter a latent phase, posing ongoing challenges for effective intervention strategies.
  • The recent findings from the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) in Izatnagar, Bareilly, have shed light on the specific subtypes of EEHV circulating among the Asian elephant population in India, offering crucial insights into understanding and potentially managing this threatening viral infection.


  • The research undertaken by ICAR-IVRI represents a pivotal step in comprehending the nuances of EEHV, providing hope for better strategies in safeguarding the vulnerable elephant population against this deadly viral threat.

Get In Touch

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+91 8858209990, +91 9415011892


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Investigating Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) | Vaid ICS Institute