Seroprevalence of Tuberculosis in Captive Asian Elephants in Nepal


  • G Nepal
  • K.P. Gairhe Chitwan National Park, Nepal
  • A Sadaula National Trust for Nature Conservation, Sauraha
  • S Wasti Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences/ Tribhuwan University, Rampur, Chitwan



Captive Asian elephants, DPP Vet TB assay, Tuberculosis (TB), Zoonotic disease


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious zoonotic disease, characterized by the development of tubercles
resulting in caseation and calcification in the lungs. In elephants, causative agents Mycobacterium
tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis result in chronic weight loss, anorexia, and weakness with
occasional dyspnea or coughing. TB has been a major threat to elephants in Nepal. To date, 17
elephants have died in Nepal due to TB alone. Therefore, this study was undertaken to screen the
TB seropositive elephants in Nepal. A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the
seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in captive Asian elephants in four protected areas of Nepal
from 22 November 2015 to 17 April 2016. The serum samples were examined for tubercle bacillus
antibodies by DPP Vet TB Assay. Out of 92 elephants, 10.87% of elephants were found reactive
to the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. There was a non-significant difference in
seroprevalence of TB in captive Asian elephants for the sex, age, and location (P>0.05). In a
follow-up study, we found that 4 TB seropositive elephants from our study died due to TB and
displayed granulomatous tuberculosis lesions with the caseous mass in the lungs on post-mortem
examination. Government and non-government stakeholders should jointly formulate effective
plans and policies to eradicate tuberculosis from elephants in Nepal.


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How to Cite

Nepal, G., Gairhe, K., Sadaula, A., & Wasti, S. (2023). Seroprevalence of Tuberculosis in Captive Asian Elephants in Nepal. Nepalese Veterinary Journal, 37(1), 1–7.



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