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Elephant WNV Vaccination Survey  (sent out to SSP holding institutions Dec 2002)

Summary of Results (Aug 14, 2003)


Number of institutions responding:   15 institutions 

1.                  Do you currently use the Ft. Dodge WNV vaccine in your elephants? 

m yes-3 institutions vaccinate 

m   no-12 do not vaccinate


2.                  If yes, what dose and route do you use?

m 1 ml-one institution used 1ml dose IM   

m    2 ml-two institution has used 2ml SQ


3.                  Did you administer two initial vaccinations as recommended on the label (2-4 weeks apart)?

m yes  

m no-one respondent vaccinated 3 times at 3-4 week intervals; one respondent vaccinated 3 times at 3 and 4 weeks after initial vaccination; other respondent did not specify schedule


4.                  How often do you plan to repeat immunizations?

m    annually-two respondent

m twice per year   m more frequently       

m      don’t know – one respondent


5.                  Did you observe any adverse reactions to vaccination?

m yes            m   no-two respondent             If yes, describe:


6.                  Have you measured post-vaccination antibody titers?

m   yes – one respondent   m no-one respondent


7.                  If so, were detectable antibody titers present (use >1:40 as cutoff for viral neutralization titer)?  - 1/3 elephants seropositive at 3 wks after 1st vaccine; 2/3 serpositive one week after 2nd booster (booster administered at 3 wks); 3/3 seropositive at 1 month after 3rd booster (booster administered 1 wk after 2nd booster)

m yes            m no


8.                  Number of Asian elephants vaccinated ___3____; not vaccinated ____17__

Number of African elephants vaccinated ___5_; not vaccinated _____26_


9.                  Are you vaccinating any other species?

m   yes   ___________________   m   no            




Additional information:


Current data show that at least 3 Asian elephants have seroconverted in response to vaccination with the equine product using 2 ml SQ at 0,3,4 weeks.  Antibody titers in WNV-vaccinated African elephants are currently unknown.


Unvaccinated elephants have seroconverted using both the serum neutralization screening assay (+ is considered any titer at or above 1:40) and hemagglutination inhibition (+ is considered any titer at or above 1:20).


Known seropositive cases:  1 adult female African elephant 1:320 (SN)

            3 adult African elephants 1:20 (HI)

            2 Asian elephants – positive titer (number and test unknown)


Results from elephant samples sent to Cornell prior to August 2002 –

0/15 elephants are seropositive




Current data is insufficient to determine if elephants should be vaccinated with the WNV vaccine.  On limited data, no adverse effects have been observed and a post-vaccinal titer has occurred in 3 vaccinated Asian adults. 

All institutions holding elephants should consider monitoring WNV titers in their herds.


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