Saving Baby Elephants from a Lethal Virus
Elephant Herpesvirus-associated Pathology
EEHV targets the endothelium of the heart and kidneys, and other organs in the body.
Epithelium is one of four basic types of animal tissue. The other three types are connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue. Endolethial cells line surfaces of blood vessels.
EEHV causes catastrophic blood vessel leakage.
- Photo of kidney and heart: Garner, M, Helmick, K. Ochsenreiter, J., Richman, Kl, Latimer, E., Wise, G., Maes, R., Kiupel, M., Nordhausen, R., Zong, J., and Hayward G. Clinico-pathologic Features of Fatal Disease Attributed to New Variants of Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses in Two Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus). Vet Pathology 2009 Jan;46(1):97-104. U.S. National Library of Medicine: HHS Public Access.
- Photo of EEHV intestinal hemorrhage © Richard M. Jakowski, DVM, PhD, DACVP. CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0.
- Paul D. Ling, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine.
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How can something we cannot see harm us? How can we protect ourselves from getting a disease? Activities in the Invisible Threats guide will help you and your students learn about and understand infectious diseases—how they are contracted and prevented. (8 activities)
Paul D. Ling, Ph.D., a microbiologist at Baylor College of Medicine, is a leading global expert on Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), a disease that is killing baby Asian elephants. Join him as he discusses the virus, key discoveries, and a treatment protocol developed by his research team which keeps the elephants alive.
In this storybook, young students track a mysterious illness that is killing baby elephants. They learn how doctors and scientists identified the pathogen, found a treatment and are working to make a vaccine.
Funded by the following grant(s)
Development of the Science of Infectious Diseases teaching materials and video resources was supported in part by funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, grant numbers R25AI084826 and 4R25AI097453.