Submitted to: Wildlife Disease Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2002
Publication Date: 6/20/2002
Citation: PARKER, J., WOODS, L.W., LEHMKUHL, H.D., STILLIAN, M.H. PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF SQUIRRELS AS A POSSIBLE RESERVOIR FOR DEER ADENOVIRUS. 51st WILDLIFE DISEASE ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE. 2002. Abstract p. 98, #74.
Technical Abstract: A novel adenovirus was the cause of an epizootic that caused high mortality in deer in California in 1993-1994. Retrospective analysis demonstrated adenovirus in tissues from deer that died during a similar epizootic in 1987. It is unknown whether there is a reservoir species that harbors the virus between epizootics or whether latent infection occurs in deer, and shedding with subsequent clinical disease triggered by stress. Observation of the interface between captive deer and free ranging squirrels prompted a preliminary experimental inoculation study to determine if squirrels are capable of carrying and shedding the deer adenovirus. Six squirrels were inoculated via intramuscular, intraocular, and oral routes with deer adenovirus and observed for six weeks. No clinical signs were observed during the study. Squirrels were necropsied six weeks post-inoculation and tissues were collected for histopathologic examination, immunohistochemistry and virus isolation. Serum virus neutralization test results demonstrated high antibody titers to adenovirus in all six squirrels. Serum virus neutralization was performed on two free-ranging squirrels, and no antibody was detected to deer adenovirus. Results of this study will be illustrated.