Submitted to: Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2002
Publication Date: 9/1/2002
Citation: Cooley, J., Li, H., Hagans, K., Moisan, P., Rushton, S. Chronic obliterative arteritis in axis deer due to sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever. Veterinary Pathology. 2002. v. 39. Abstract p. 618.
Technical Abstract: Ten axis deer were examined at the North Carolina diagnostic laboratory as part of an investigation of deaths of animals in a mixed species game farm. From October 2001, to April 2002, the farm experienced deaths in Pere David's deer, axis deer, blackbuck antelope, white-tailed deer, and elk. In contrast to other species, clinical disease in the axis deer was protracted. The axis deer developed depression, separated from the group, and progressively lost condition over an interval of at least 2 weeks before dying. Two animals were killed 3 months following initial recognition of any illness. Histologic examination of deer with prolonged clinical signs revealed numerous widely disseminated large proliferative arteries in multiple visceral organs. The large arteries had prominent subendothelial intimal proliferation of spindle cells with some intervening collagen and matrix. Moderate to heavy, predominantly lymphocytic infiltrates were within the thickened vascular walls and extended transmurally to the surrounding adventitia. Laboratory findings revealed all clinically affected axis deer examined were positive for MCF viral antibody by competitive inhibition ELISA. PCR amplified DNA fragments from peripheral blood lymphocytes of the affected deer. When sequenced, the amplicons were 100% identical to published ovine herpesvirus 2 sequences. A similar syndrome of significant proliferative arteriopathy and arteritis was elegantly reported by Dr. Donal O'Toole in cattle in Wyoming. These cattle survived up to 150 days after clinical onset of MCF and had similar significant fibrointimal arterial plaques. A chronic disease form of MCF in cattle subsequent to partial clinical recovery was documented, and distinctive arterial lesions were the sequela. At this time, no axis deer have been proven to recover from clinical MCF, although chronic MCF is confirmed.