Drought may severely reduce the ability of wild Asian Elephants Elephas maximus (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae) to resist opportunistic infections

Main Article Content

B.M. Chandranaik
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3955-433X
Vardhaman Patil
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6674-3083
D. Rathnamma
G. S. Mamatha
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9843-4119
K.S. Umashankar
D.N. Nagaraju
S.M. Byregowda

Abstract

The present study was conducted to assess the microbial quality of water in forest waterholes in different seasons and its possible impact on wild animals, at Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserve forests in the state of Karnataka, India, during the year 2012 which evidenced drought, and the year 2014 which witnessed normal rainfall in these forests. The forests recorded the death of 39 wild elephants during April and May of 2012. One ailing elephant was confirmed to have high fever, diarrhoea, leucocytosis, and symptoms of colic. Water samples collected from major waterholes during the peak drought showed higher numbers of coliforms and several species of opportunistic bacteria including species of Vibrio and Campylobacter. In the year 2014–15, with normal rainfall, the death of less than 10 wild elephants was documented during April to May, 2015. We collected water samples from 20 major waterholes every month from June 2014 to May 2015 and assessed the water quality. We found that the microbial water quality improved in rainy season (June–September), started deterioration in winter (October–January) and became poor in summer (February–May). Though, the water during the summer of 2014–15 was equally of poor microbial quality as seen during peaks of droughts, the elephant deaths were relatively lower, signifying the role of normal rainfall in forests which provides the availability of fodder and water, which determines the general body condition and ability to resist opportunistic infections. We discuss the measures suggested and implemented from this study and their utilities at ground level.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
B.M. Chandranaik, Vardhaman Patil, D. Rathnamma, G. S. Mamatha, K.S. Umashankar, D.N. Nagaraju and S.M. Byregowda 2022. Drought may severely reduce the ability of wild Asian Elephants Elephas maximus (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae) to resist opportunistic infections. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 14, 5 (May 2022), 20951–20963. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.7835.14.5.20951-20963.
Section
Communications

References

Cabral, J.P.S. (2010). Water Microbiology: Bacterial Pathogens and Water. International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health 7: 3657–3703

Chandranaik, B.M., B.P. Shivashankar, P. Giridhar & D.N. Nagaraju (2016). Molecular characterisation and serotyping of Pasteurella multocida isolates from Asiatic Elephants (Elephas maximus). European Journal of Wildlife Research 62: 681–685

Chandranaik, B.M., R. Hegde, B.P. Shivashankar, P. Giridhar, H.K. Muniyellappa, R.S. Kalge, B.R. Sumathi, K. Nithinprabhu, N. Chandrashekar, V. Manjunatha, J. Nirupama, A. Mayanna, G.K. Chandrakala, S. Kanaka & M.D. Venkatesha (2015). Serotyping of Foot and Mouth Disease virus and Pasteurella multocida isolates from Indian Gaurs (Bos gaurus) concurrently infected with foot and mouth disease and haemorrhagic septicaemia. Tropical Animal Health and Production 47: 933–93

Chandranaik, B.M., B.P. Shivashankar, K.S. Umashankar, P. Giridhar, S.M. Byregowda & B.M. Shrinivasa (2017). Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in free-roaming wild Asian Elephant. Emerging Infectious Diseases 23: 555–557.

Cheryl, L.T., S.P. Jayna, D.P. Nancy, G.S. Evangeline, A.B. Cheryl & A.S. Nancy (2007) . Identification of Vibrio Isolates by a Multiplex PCR Assay and rpoB Sequence Determination. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 45: 134–140.

Chris, C. (2015). Developing El Nino could be strongest on record: Event could bring rain to drought-stricken California and dry conditions to Australia. Nature 2015: 1–2. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2015.18184

Faruque, S.M., R. Khan, M. Kamruzzman, S. Yamasaki, Q.S. Ahmad, T. Azim, G.B. Nair, Y. Takeda & D.A. Sack (2002). Isolation of Shigella dysenteriae type 1 and S. flexneri strains from surface waters in Bangladesh: comparative molecular analysis of environmental Shigella isolates versus clinical strains. Applied Environmental Microbiology 68: 3908–3913

Fernandez, M.C., N. Beatriz, S.B. Giampaolo, M. Ibanez, V. Guagliardo, M.M. Esnaola, L. Conca, P. Valdivia, S.M. Stagnaro, C. Chiale & H. Frade (2000). Aeromonas Hydrophila and its relation with drinking water indicators of microbiological quality in Argentina. Genetica 108: 35–40.

Hazen, T.C. (1998). Faecal coliforms as indicators in tropical waters: a review. Toxicological Assessment 3: 461–477.

Hofmeister, E., M. Rogall, K. Wesenberg, R. Abbott, T. Work, K. Schuler, J. Sleeman & J. Winton (2012). Climate change and wildlife health: direct and indirect effects. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010: 3017–3021.

Holland, J.L., L. Louie, A.E. Simor & M. Louie (2000). PCR detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 directly from stools: evaluation of commercial extraction methods for purifying faecal DNA. Clinical Microbiology 38: 4108–4113

Jordano, R., C. Lopez, V. Rodriguez, G. Cordoba, L.M. Medina & Barrios (1995). Comparison of Petri film method to conventional methods for enumerating aerobic bacteria, coliforms, Escherichia coli and yeast and molds in foods. Acta Microbiology Immunology Hungary 42: 255–259

Kapperud, G., L.M. Rorvik, V. Hasseltvedt, E.A. Hoiby, B.G. Iversen, K. Staveland, G. Johnsen, J. Leitao, H. Herikstad, Y. Andersson, G. Langeland, B. Gondrosen & J. Lassen (1995). Outbreak of Shigella sonnei infection traced to imported iceberg lettuce. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 33: 609–614

McLean, L. (2016). Why El Niño may have contributed to mass death of seabirds. The Associated Press, New York, USA.

Miller, R. & M. Fowler (2012). Fowler’s Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine. Elsevier publications, 792 pp.

Nevondo, T.S. & T.E. Cloete (1999). Bacterial and chemical quality of water supply in the Dertig village settlement. Water SA 25: 215–220

Obi, C.L,, N. Potgieter, P.O. Bessong & G. Matsaung (2002). Assessment of the microbial quality of river water sources in rural Venda communities in South Africa. Water SA 28: 287–292.

Ogunsanya, T.I., V.O. Rotimi & Adenuga (1994). A study of the etiological agents of childhood diarrhoea in Lagos, Nigeria. Journal of Medical Microbiology 40: 10–14

Palupi, K., S. Sumengen, S. Inswiasri, L. Augustina, S.A. Nunik, W. Sunarya & A. Quraisyn (1995). River water quality study in the vicinity of Jakarta. Water Science and Technology 39: 17–25

Paul, J.H., J.B. Rose, S. Jiang, C. Kellog & E. Shinn (1995). Occurrence of faecal indicator bacteria in surface water and the subsurface equiter in Key Largo, Florida. Applied Environmental Microbiology 61: 2235–2241

Quinn, P. J., B.K. Markey, F.C. Leonard, E.S. Fitzpatrick, S. Fanning & P.J. Hartigan (2011). Veterinary Microbiology and Microbial Diseases, 2nd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell Publications, United Kingdom, 912 pp.

Sack, D.A., R.B. Sack, G.B. Nair & A. K. Siddique (2004). Cholera. Lancet 363: 223–233.

Scheutz, F. & N.A. Strockbine (2005). Genus Escherichia, pp. 607–623. In: Brenner, D.J., Krieg, N.R., Staley, J.T., (eds). Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, 2nd ed. Springer, New York, USA, 949 pp.

Seas. C., M. Alarcon, J.C. Aragon, S. Beneit, M. Quiñonez, H. Guerra & E. Gotuzzo (2000). Surveillance of bacterial pathogens associated with acute diarrhea in Lima, Peru. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 4: 96–99

Soren, P. & E.P. Katharina (2005). Multiplex PCR for identification of Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter jejuni from pure cultures and directly on stool samples. Olsen Journal of Medical Microbiology 54: 1043–1047

Soulsby, E.J.L. (1982). Text Book of Helminths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals. 7th Edition. Philadelphia, 809 pp.

Standard Methods (1998). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (20th Edition). American Public Health Association, Washington DC, 2671 pp.

Strockbine, N.A. & A.T. Maurelli (2005). Genus Shigella. In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, 2nd edn.

Tetteh, G.L. & L.R. Beuchat (2003). Survival, growth, and inactivation of acid-stressed Shigella flexneri as affected by pH and temperature. International Journal of Food Microbiology 87: 131–138

Toby, R.A. (2020). On the essentials of drought in a changing climate. Science 368: 256–260.

Todar, K. (2009). Vibrio cholera and Asiatic cholera, pp. 1–4. In: Todar’s Online Textbook of Bacteriology. http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/cholera.

Varma, S. & R. Sukumar (2012). Synchronized population estimation of the Asian Elephants in forest divisions of Karnataka. Dissertation, Indian Institute of Science, India.

Wenju, C., B. Borlace, L. Matthieu, V.R. Peter, C. Mat, V. Gabriel, T. Axel, S. Agus, M. Michael, L. Wu, H.E. Matthew, W. Guojian, E. Guilyardi G & J. Fei-Fei (2014). Increasing frequency of extreme El Nino events due to greenhouse warming. Nature Climate Change 4: 111–116