Use of anti-gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccines in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) : a review

Show simple item record Bertschinger, Hendrik Jan Lueders, Imke 2018-11-29T06:33:07Z 2018-11-29T06:33:07Z 2018-07-30
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND : Androgen-related aggressive behaviour and musth cause serious problems in captive African elephant bulls and often lead to human and animal injuries, and damage to property. OBJECTIVES : To review the work carried out with anti-gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccines to control androgen-related behaviour and fertility in captive and free-ranging elephant bulls and the induction of anoestrus in elephant cows. METHOD : In the first study, an anti-GnRH vaccine from Pepscan was tested in six bulls (four captive and two free-ranging). Once the vaccine Improvac® became available, the effect on behaviour, the reproductive organs and semen quality was tested. Improvac® was also used to attempt induction of anoestrus in elephant cows. RESULTS : The first study proved that aggressive behaviours are significantly associated with increased faecal androgen concentrations. Musth (n = 1) and aggressive behaviour (n = 2) were down regulated and correlated with a decline in faecal androgen concentrations. Aggression and musth could be controlled with Improvac® (600 μg), but were more consistent when the dose was increased to 1000 μg administered every five to six months. The same dose down regulated testicular function and bulls (n = 17) were rendered infertile within 12 months after commencement of treatment. Initial attempts to induce anoestrous with 600 μg in free-ranging elephant cows gave inconclusive results, but 1000 μg in captive cows delivered five-monthly was successful. CONCLUSION : The treatment of elephant bulls with Improvac® resulted in the successful downregulation of androgen-related behaviour and sperm production in captive and wild elephant bulls of various ages (≤ 34 years). Preliminary studies to induce anoestrus in cows with Improvac® appear to be successful. en_ZA
dc.description.department Anatomy and Physiology en_ZA
dc.description.department Production Animal Studies en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2018 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship University of Pretoria, International Elephant Fund, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, Technology Innovation Agency and Birmingham Zoological Gardens. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Bertschinger, H.J. & Lueders, I., 2018, ‘Use of antigonadotropin- releasing hormone vaccines in African elephants (Loxodonta africana): A review’, Bothalia 48(2), a2320. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0006-8241 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2311-9284 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.4102/abc.v48i2.2320
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher AOSIS Open Journals en_ZA
dc.rights © 2018. The Authors. Licensee: AOSIS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Vaccines en_ZA
dc.subject Musth en_ZA
dc.subject Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) en_ZA
dc.subject African elephant (Loxodonta africana) en_ZA
dc.title Use of anti-gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccines in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) : a review en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record