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Tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Peninsular Malaysia


Ong, Bee Lee and Ngeow, Yun Fong and Abdul Razak, Mohd Firdaus Ariff and Yusuf, Yakubu and Zakaria, Zunita and Abdul Mutalib, Abdul Rahim and Hassan, Latiffah and Ng, Hien Fuh and Verasahib, Khebir (2013) Tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Peninsular Malaysia. Epidemiology and Infection, 141 (spec.7). pp. 1481-1487. ISSN 0950-2688; ESSN: 1469-4409


A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20·4% and 24·8%, respectively. From 151 trunk-wash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
DOI Number: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268813000265
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Keywords: Captive Asian elephants; Elephants handlers; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Peninsular Malaysia
Depositing User: Azizan Arshad
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 00:50
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 04:16
Altmetrics: http://www.altmetric.com/details.php?domain=psasir.upm.edu.my&doi=10.1017/S0950268813000265
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/29865
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