Elephant borne disease: An important concern

How to cite this article:
Err H, Wiwanitkit V. Elephant borne disease: An important concern. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2014;7:78


How to cite this URL:
Err H, Wiwanitkit V. Elephant borne disease: An important concern. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Mar 7];7:78. Available from: https://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2014/7/1/78/145045

Dear Sir,

Elephant is a kind of giant animal that can be seen in the forest areas of Africa and Asia. However, in some settings, elephant is kept as a pet in household. In Indochina, elephant is kept as a local pet in remote villages and the concerns is on the disease that can be transmitted from elephant to human beings. Indeed, the health problem relating to elephant is rarely mentioned. The contact dermatitis is a simple problem that can be seen. [1] Focusing on zoonosis, there is still no clear evidence on the chance. However, as a pet living in the same house, the possibility of some zoonotic infection can be feasible. The great concern is on the emerging respiratory tract infection. According to a recent publication, Goldstein et al. reported the finding of pandemic H1N1 influenza isolated from an elephant and proposed for the possible zoonotic transmission. [2] In Southeast Asia, especially for Thailand and Cambodia, the pandemic H1N1 influenza can be detectable, and the pet elephant can be the source of the influenza virus. Disease surveillance in the communities where elephants are kept as pets is recommended. Nevertheless, the confirmed zoonosis is reported for another important respiratory infection, tuberculosis. The index cases are reported in Australia where the tuberculosis transmission from elephant to humans and chimpanzee is observed. [3] Murphree et al. mentioned that “Indirect exposure to aerosolized Mycobacterium tuberculosis and delayed or inadequate infection control practices likely contributed to transmission. [4]



Sovannah TC. Elephant allergy: An example of allergic problem in a traveler. Case Study Case Rep 2013;3:116-7.
Goldstein T, Mena I, Anthony SJ, Medina R, Robinson PW, Greig DJ, et al. Pandemic H1N1 influenza isolated from free-ranging Northern Elephant Seals in 2010 off the central California coast. PLoS One 2013;8:e62259.
Stephens N, Vogelnest L, Lowbridge C, Christensen A, Marks GB, Sintchenko V, et al. Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) to a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and humans in an Australian zoo. Epidemiol Infect 2013;141:1488-97.
Murphree R, Warkentin JV, Dunn JR, Schaffner W, Jones TF. Elephant-to-human transmission of tuberculosis, 2009. Emerg Infect Dis 2011;17:366-71.

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.145045

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