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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Chase, Cc
item Braun, L
item Leslie-steen, P
item Graham, T
item Miskimins, D
item Ridpath, Julia

Submitted to: American Association of Bovine Practitioners Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2004
Publication Date: 9/23/2004
Citation: Chase, C.L., Braun, L.J., Leslie-Steen, P., Graham, T., Miskimins, D., Ridpath, J.F. 2004. Evidence of bovine viral diarrhea virus persistent infection in two white-tail deer in southeastern South Dakota [abstract]. Thirty-Seventh Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. p. 169.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The role of wildlife reservoirs continues to be a major unknown in the epidemiology of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). Serological data indicates that a wide range of wild ruminants have BVDV antibodies. BVDV has been isolated from a mule deer in Wyoming. In this report we examine the gross, histological and virological findings of two isolation of BVDV in white-tail deer in southeastern South Dakota in areas with concentrations of feedlot, dairy and cow-calf operations. Two white-tail deer were submitted to the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory in the fall of 2003 by the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. Both animals were CWD negative. The first deer was submitted in October and was in good body condition. The second animal was submitted in December and was the past year's fawn and was in poor body condition. The animals were necropsied and histopathology, viral antigen detection and virus isolation were performed. In addition the BVDV isolates were typed using polymerase chain reaction in both the Erns region and the 5'NCR. The first deer had no remarkable gross lesions indicative of BVDV. There was an abscess in one lung. The BVDV FA on the lung was negative. A noncytopathic (NCP) BVDV was isolated from the lungs and the intestine. The ear notch was immunohistochemistry positive for BVDV antigen. The isolate was typed in the Erns region and was a BVDV genotype 2. 5'NCR indicated that it was a type 2a. The second animal was unthrifty and stunted. The animal had a gun shot wound and had multifocal mandibular abscesses and diarrhea. Necropsy of this animal revealed multifocal ulcers of the abomasum. Histologically the animal had lymphoid depletion of the spleen. The animal was FA positive for BVDV antigen and a NCP virus was isolated from the kidney, abomasum, and lung. Immunohistochemistry indicated the presence of BVDV antigen in the skin and all tissues tested. The virus was typed in the Erns region and was a BVDV genotype 1. Further genetic in the 5'NCR indicated the virus was a type 1b. This report is significant because it is the first report of possible persistent infection in deer. This would represent a serious problem for any cattle operation with deer contact. The implications of these BVDV isolations on biosecurity and prevention programs are alarming as white-tail deer reservoir represents a huge risk to cattle. This is the third report of BVDV in deer in North America and the first report of multiple isolations of both genotypes.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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