Supaphen Sripiboon

Supaphen Sripiboon DVM (Hons), MSc

A PhD Thesis
The study of EEHV infection in Asian elephants in Thailand


  • Dr Kris Warren
  • Dr Carly Holyoake
  • Prof Ian Robertson
  • Dr Mark Bennett


Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus or EEHV is a recently recognised subgroup of herpes virus that has been reported to cause highly fatal disease, particularly in young elephants both Asian and African species. The disease often shows sudden onset and has a high mortality rate. Most of infected elephants immediately died within 24 hours due to internal organ failure as the existence of virus in the blood vessel cells. As it is very virulent, the urgent concerned should carefully put into a highly consideration for elephant management and conservation.

EEHV was first reported from zoo in North America in 1995, after that there were many incidences of this disease all over the world. By far, there are more than 80 cases has been confirmed suffering from this virus. In Thailand where elephants play a significant role for the nation and Thai people’s life, several cases have been confirmed related to EEHV infection. However none of intensive disease survey or monitoring has been undertaken yet.

Dr Sripiboon who is a veterinarian originated from Thailand aims to study on the disease prevalence, epidemiology and also diagnostic technique development. The result available from this study could contribute to set up a disease prevention plan for Asian elephants and provide great benefits to long-term elephant conservation.

Research objectives

  • Determine status of EEHV infection in Asian elephants in Thailand
  • Investigate the molecular genetic relatedness of EEHV in Thailand
  • Monitor EEHV shedding pattern in Asian elephants Thailand
  • Serial cross sectional studies to determine the significance role of stress levels associated with EEHV infection
  • Determine the reliable of using non-invasive samples to detect EEHV infection


This research involves collaboration between Kasetsart University, Chiang Mai University, Thai elephant conservation centre and Zoological park organization of Thailand

This project is partly funded by School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University and Australia-Asia Prime Minister’s Award (Australian Endeavour Postgraduate Award)

Photos by Supaphen Sripiboon