Exposure of Asian Elephants and Other Exotic Ungulates to Schmallenberg Virus


Molenaar FM, La Rocca SA, Khatri M, Lopez J, Steinbach F, Dastjerdi A.

Date Published
Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is an emerging Orthobunyavirus, first described in 2011 in cattle in Germany and subsequently spread throughout Europe, affecting mainly ruminant livestock through the induction of foetal malformations. To gain a better understanding of the spectrum of susceptible species and to assess the value of current SBV serological assays, screening of serum samples from exotic artiodactyls and perissodactyls collected at the Living Collections from the Zoological Society of London (Whipsnade and London Zoos) and Chester Zoo was carried out. There was compelling evidence of SBV infection in both zoological collections. The competitive ELISA has proved to be applicable for the detection of SBV in exotic Bovidae, Cervidae, Suidae, Giraffidae and most notably in endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), but unreliable for the screening of Camelidae, for which the plaque reduction neutralisation test was considered the assay of choice.