“This report [see below] underscores the implications of the One Health worldview.  Only human strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have been isolated from Asian elephants.  These strains have been traced to their origin in the Far East (primarily India and Thailand), and the domestication of Asian elephants.  TB disease of elephants has been shown to be an infectious  risk to animal care workers, and to other elephants in congregate settings.  Study of these occurrences has provided insights into TB transmission and pathogenesis in elephants and humans, as well as issues of species preservation of Asian elephants.”

*Gary Simpson, PhD, MD, MSc, MPH – College Master-Paul L. Foster School of Medicine - Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Professor of Infectious Diseases in Medical Education (USA)

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal (EID) Volume 23, Number 3—March 2017

Please see complete copy at

Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection among Asian Elephants in Captivity

Gary Simpson, Ralph Zimmerman, Elena Shashkina, Liang Chen, Michael Richard, Carol M. Bradford, Gwen A. Dragoo, Rhonda L. Saiers, Charles A. Peloquin, Charles L. Daley, Paul Planet, Apurva Narachenia, Barun Mathema, and Barry N. KreiswirthComments to Author  


Although awareness of tuberculosis among captive elephants is increasing, antituberculosis therapy for these animals is not standardized. We describe Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission between captive elephants based on whole genome analysis and report a successful combination treatment. Infection control protocols and careful monitoring of treatment of captive elephants with tuberculosis are warranted.”

*Dr. Simpson is a longstanding physician One Health supporter/advocate/activist who serves on the One Health Initiative Team’s Advisory Board