Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/1999
Publication Date: 7/1/2000
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. Sporadic sudden deaths in adult white-tailed deer occurred from November, 1997 through August, 1998 on an Iowa game farm. The purpose of this study was to describe the occurrence of the disease in farm raised white-tailed deer in Iowa and to characterize the adenovirus isolated from this case. The disease was similar to that described in California and the virus isolate was neutralized by California black-tailed deer adenovirus antiserum. Because the adenovirus hemorrhagic disease is similar to the clinical disease produced by epizootic hemorrhagic disease and bluetongue viruses in deer in the United States, adenovirus induced hemorrhagic disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis in deer with pulmonary edema and/or hemorrhagic enteropathy.
Technical Abstract: Sporadic sudden deaths in adult white-tailed deer occurred from November, 1997 through August, 1998 on an Iowa game farm. Three of the four deer necropsied had severe pulmonary edema, widespread mild lymphocytic vasculitis, and amphophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies in scattered endothelial cells in blood vessels in the lung and abdominal viscera. Immunohistochemistry using bovine adenovirus 5 antisera and transmission electron microscopy demonstrated adenoviral antigen and nucleocapsids, respectively, within endothelial cells. Adenovirus was isolated in cell culture from one of the affected deer. The isolate was neutralized by California black-tailed deer adenovirus antiserum and comparison of the restriction endonuclease patterns for the two viruses revealed only minor differences. These findings indicate that adenovirus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of both black-tailed and white-tailed deer with pulmonary edema and/or hemorrhagic enteropathy.