Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus type 1 (EEHV1) is the most important causative agent of an acute fatal hemorrhagic disease in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). We employed loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) to develop a rapid and simple detection method for EEHV1 in blood. When used to test 21 clinical samples collected in Japan, the EEHV1 assay correctly identified one positive and 20 negative clinical samples. It was observed that when samples were spiked with synthetic DNA plasmids including EEHV1 polymerase gene, the detection limit of the LAMP assay was 101.2 copies/µl and 100-fold higher than that of conventional PCR. These advantages of the LAMP assay for EEHV1 detection may facilitate better veterinary practices for treating elephants suffering from the acute disease.
Keywords: Asian elephants (Elephas maximus); acute hemorrhagic disease; elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV); loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP); polymerase chain reaction (PCR).