Project Description

Ex Situ – Identification of Candidate Proteins for an EEHV Vaccine

Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) is one of the most significant causes of mortality in young Asian elephants. Cases have been identified in elephants in human care and in the wild. While significant progress has been made in diagnosing and treating EEHV hemorrhagic disease, a vaccine could provide a long-term solution. Dr. Paul Ling’s lab at the Baylor College of Medicine has established a test that can identify virus components that cause robust immune system responses in elephants. Studies in human herpesviruses have identified categories of proteins that induce immune responses that protect against the disease. Approximately 27 proteins encoded with a prototype EEHV1A genome fit into these categories. This study will test some of those proteins to identify which can induce the most robust immune response in elephants. The goal is to identify a core set of EEHV proteins that would be part of a first generation EEHV vaccine.

International Elephant Foundation Strategy In Support Of Elephant Conservation

IEF-supported projects protect elephants from poaching, seek solutions for human-elephant conflict, equip and train community conservationists, increase our knowledge of the treatment and prevention of disease and educate people. In 2017, IEF will provide over $600,000 to support elephant conservation around the world, adding to the over $4 million total invested in conserving elephants since our inception in 1998. The following elephant conservation projects will receive support from IEF in 2017