Evaluation of Acute Phase Proteins for Diagnosis of Inflammation in Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2008
Debbie A. Myers1, DVM; Ramiro Isaza1, DVM, MS, DACZM; Shir Gilor2, DVM; Amy MacNeill2, DMV, PhD, DACVP
1Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA


In many domestic species, routine hematology assays are useful diagnostic tools to diagnose inflammatory conditions. Unlike other species, these hematologic tests apparently are insensitive indicators of inflammation in elephants.1 We studied a novel group of blood proteins, called acute phase proteins, which increase during inflammatory conditions, for their usefulness in diagnosing elephants with inflammatory diseases. Although these proteins currently are useful in humans and domestic animals, each species has a different set of important proteins that must be individually investigated.2 We tested several acute phase proteins (C-reactive protein, alpha-1 glycoprotein, alpha-1 antitrypsin, serum amyloid A, haptoglobin, fibrinogen, ceruloplasmin, and albumin) as well as complete blood counts, chemistry panels, serum protein electrophoresis, and 3-D gel electrophoresis to determine their usefulness for diagnosing different types of inflammatory conditions in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Animals with inflammatory conditions were classified as those individuals with known illnesses such as mycobacteriosis, arthritis, nail bed abscesses, and malignant tumors. Control animals were those animals that were suspected to not have any inflammation and be healthy at the time of testing as determined by physical examination and obtaining a thorough medical history.

Literature Cited

1.  Lyashchenko, K., R. Greenwald, J. Esfandiari, J. Olsen, R. Ball, G. Dumonceaux, F. Dunker, C. Buckley, M. Richard, S. Murray, J.B. Payeur, P. Anderson, J.M. Pollock, S. Mikota, M. Miller, D. Sofranko, and W.R. Waters. 2006. Tuberculosis in elephants: antibody responses to defined antigens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, potential for early diagnosis, and monitoring of treatment. Clin. Vacc. Immunol. 13:722–732.

2.  Murata H., N. Shimada, M. Yoshioka. 2004. Current research on acute phase proteins in veterinary diagnosis: an overview. Vet J. 168:28–40.


Speaker Information
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Debbie A. Myers, DVM
Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

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