Some parasitic and other natural diseases of the African elephant in the Kruger National Park
Basson, P.A.; McCully, R.M.; De Vos, Valerius; Young, E.; Kruger, S.P.; South Africa. Dept. of Agricultural Technical Services; De Lange, M.; Reinecke, R.K.; Walker, Jane B.; De Kock, V.E.; Howell, P.G.
Detailed descriptions are given of the lesions encountered at autopsy on a random selection of 32
free-living African elephants [Loxodonta africana (Blumenbach, 1797)]. Lymphoid nodules with inclusion bearing
syncytia caused by a herpes virus were found in many lungs and similar lesions occurred in the
pancreas. Suspected viral lesions somewhat resembling bovine granular vaginitis were encountered in the
genitalia. Dipetalonema gossi Baylis, 1923, which was originally recorded from the abdominal cavity, was
recovered from the portal veins of several animals. They proved to be responsible for severe intrahepatic
vasculitis and eosinophilic hepatitis in 50% of the elephants. Grammocephalus clathratus (Baird, 1868) Railliet & Henry 1910 was constantly present in the bile ducts where fairly marked cholangitis was produced. Even mild localized pancreatitis was sometimes caused by these parasites. Parabronema africanum Baylis, 1921 was found in large numbers in gastric ulcers. A new mite, Loxanoetus bassoni Fain, 1970 was obtained from the ears. The livers of two elephants contained a few suspected schistosome ova. Siderotic and haemangiomatoid splenic lesions occurred in several adult animals. Many of the cows had multiple periuterine papillomata. Arteriosclerosis of the aorta was occasionally encountered. Skin lesions resembling porcine lesions of zinc deficiency were observed. Mycotic lesions were seen once in the lungs and lymph nodes. The aetiology of focal disseminated cystitis in 39% of the cows was not established.
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