Sunday, 09 November 2014 17:28

Dr Jérôme LASSAUSAIE from ElefantAsia's Team and his collaborators publish an article on Tuberculosis in Elephants and their Mahouts

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Their article titled « Tuberculosis in Laos, who is at risk: the mahouts or their elephants? » has been published in Epidemiology and Infection Journal on July 30th 2014.

Epidemiol Infect. 2014 Aug 29:1-10. doi:10.1017/S0950268814002180

Tuberculosis in Laos, who is at risk: the mahouts or their elephants?

Lassausaie J1, Bret A1, Bouapao X2, Chanthavong V3, Castonguay-Vanier J1, Quet F2, Mikota SK4, Théorêt C5, Buisson Y2, Bouchard B1.


2Institut de la Francophonie pour la Médecine Tropicale,Vientiane,Lao PDR.

3Lao Elephant Care and Management Programme,Vientiane,Lao PDR.

4Elephant Care International,Hohenwald,USA.

5Université de Montréal,Faculté de médecine vétérinaire,Québec,Canada.


Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants has the potential to infect humans and is an increasing public health concern. Lao PDR is one of the last countries where elephants are still used for timber extraction and where they live in close contact with their mahouts. There are 500 animals at work in the country, some interacting with wild herds. Although human TB prevalence is known to be high in Laos, studies on elephant TB had yet to be undertaken. From January to July 2012, screening was performed using the ElephantTB Stat-Pak assay on 80 elephants working around the Nam Pouy National Park in Sayaboury Province. This represents more than 18% of the total registered national working elephant population. Here we report that 36% of the elephants were seroreactive to the test. Of these, 31% had contacts with wild individuals, which suggests potential transmission of mycobacteria to the local wild herds. Clinical examination, chest X-rays, sputum microscopy and culture were performed on their 142 mahouts or owners. Despite high TB seroreactivity in elephants, no participant was smear- or culture-positive for Mycobacteriumtuberculosis or M. bovis, although atypical mycobacteria were isolated from 4% of participants.

Last modified on Sunday, 09 November 2014 18:15
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