Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephant Immune System

  • Lisa M. AbegglenEmail author
  • Angela Fuery
  • Wendy K. Kiso
  • Dennis L. Schmitt
  • Paul D. Ling
  • Joshua D. Schiffman


Elephant immunology is an emerging field of study. While we still have much to learn about how the elephant immune system differs from the immune systems of other animals and what advantages or disadvantages these differences may provide, our knowledge of the elephant immune system continues to increase as we work to understand disease mechanisms that threaten these incredible animals. Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) remains one of the most serious threats to the health and survival of Asian elephants. Immune responses to this virus in elephants are under active investigation in an attempt to understand why some elephants are able to recover, while others rapidly die of progressive disease. The elephant immune responses to EEHV, and other infections in elephants, are a focus of this chapter, which reviews our current understanding of elephant immunology and points to gaps in our knowledge.


Elephant Elephant immunology Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus EEHV Comparative immunology Bilobed macrophages Comparative oncology Tuberculosis Cancer resistance p53 TP53 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Abegglen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Angela Fuery
    • 2
  • Wendy K. Kiso
    • 3
  • Dennis L. Schmitt
    • 3
  • Paul D. Ling
    • 2
  • Joshua D. Schiffman
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Molecular Virology and MicrobiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant ConservationPolk CityUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Pediatrics and Oncological SciencesUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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