Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: An adenovirus has been shown to be the cause of a hemorrhagic disease that resulted in high mortality in mule deer herds throughout northern and central California in 1993. The disease was similar to that produced by epizootic hemorrhagic disease and bluetongue viruses in deer in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine the susceptibility of white-tailed fawns to adenovirus infection. Experimental infection produced signs and lesions similar to that produced in black-tailed deer. Because white-tailed deer are susceptible to adenovirus hemorrhagic disease, the differential diagnosis of hemorrhagic disease in white-tailed deer needs to also include adenovirus as a possible cause.
Technical Abstract: Infection with a newly described endotheliotropic adenovirus was the cause of a 1993 epizootic in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus and O. hemionus hemionus) in California reminiscent of hemorrhagic disease. Pulmonary edema and intestinal luminal hemorrhage, or necrotizing stomatitis associated with systemic or localized vasculitis, respectively, were common lesions seen in animals that died during this epizootic. In order to determine if white-tailed deer (O. virginianus) are also susceptible to infection and fatal disease with this novel adenovirus, 8 white-tailed deer fawns (4-6 months old) were inoculated with purified adenovirus. Four were inoculated intravenously and four were inoculated through ocular, nasal and oral mucous membranes. Seven days post-inoculation, one of the fawns that was inoculated intravenously died. Pulmonary edema and hemorrhagic enteropathy were associated with pulmonary and intestinal vasculitis with multi organ systemic distribution of adenovirus-infected endothelial cells as demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. Adenovirus was reisolated from lung homogenates of the fawn that died of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease. Serum virus neutralization results suggest this virus is not one of the known bovine or ovine adenoviruses.