|Chase, Christopher C.|
Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2008
Publication Date: 7/1/2008
Citation: Chase, C.C., Braun, L.J., Leslie-Steen, P., Graham, T., Miskimins, D., Ridpath, J.F. 2008. Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Multiorgan Infection in Two White-Tailed Deer in Southeastern South Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 44(3):753-759. Interpretive Summary: Recent estimates put the white-tailed deer population in the United States at around 30 million with deer densities in some rural areas running between 20 and 30 per square mile. The high density of white-tailed deer results in increased contact between this wild species and domestic cattle. This report describes apparent persistent bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infections in two white-tailed deer captured from the wild. BVDV is an important pathogen of cattle. Cattle persistently infected (PI) with BVDV very efficiently spread BVDV to any cattle with which they come into contact. The reduction of BVDV infections in the U.S. is dependent on the detection and removal of PI cattle. The capture of apparently PI white-tailed deer suggests that it may also be necessary to test and remove PI deer from wild deer populations.
Technical Abstract: The role of wild ruminants especially cervids in the transmission of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) has remained an enigma. Two white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were submitted to the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL) 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 animals were necropsied and histopathology, viral antigen detection and virus isolation were performed. A noncytopathic (NCP) BVDV was isolated from the lungs and several other tissues of both animals. Formalin-fixed ear notches from both animals were immunohistochemistry positive for BVDV antigen. The BVDV isolates were typed using polymerase chain reaction in 5'UTR region and one isolate was typed a type 2a and the other a type 1b. This is the first report of possible persistent infection in white-tailed deer. Establishment of persistent infections in white-tailed deer populations would represent a serious problem for BVDV control. Recent estimates put the white-tailed deer population in the United States at around 30 million with deer densities in some rural areas running between 20 and 30 per square mile. The implications of these BVDV isolations on biosecurity and prevention programs are alarming as a BVDV reservoir in white-tailed deer represents a huge contact risk for domestic cattle herds.