Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/6/2011
Publication Date: 5/25/2011
Citation: Drolet, B.S., Reister, L.M., Mecham, J.O., Wilson, W.C., Nol, P., Vercauteren, K.C., Ruby, T.C., Vanrijn, P.A., Bowen, R.A. 2011. Susceptibility of North American white-tailed deer to the Netherlands strain of BTV serotype 8. Meeting Abstract. American Society for Virology, Minneapolis, MN, July 16-20, 2011. Paper No. W40-10.. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: World-wide there are at least 24 serotypes of bluetongue virus (BTV), a complex non-enveloped virus in the family Reoviridae, genus Orbivirus. Bluetongue (BT) is an arthropod-borne disease of cattle, sheep, goats, and deer and is transmitted by Culicoides biting midges. In 2006, bluetongue serotype 8 (BTV-8) invaded north-western Europe resulting in the largest BT outbreak ever recorded. This BTV strain differs from other BTV strains in many aspects; competent vector(s), transplacental and oral transmission, and severity in cattle. In the U.S., white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are the sentinel wildlife species for re-emerging BT outbreaks of our domestic serotypes (BTV-2, 10, 11, 13, 17). To determine their susceptibility to the European strain of BTV-8 (IAH-collection BTV-8 NET2007/01), eight BTV-seronegative deer were injected subcutaneously in the neck and inner left leg. Two deer were sham inoculated to serve as uninfected controls and housed with infected animals to verify the inability of this virus to spread by direct contact transmission. Body temperatures and clinical signs were recorded daily. Periodic blood samples were analysed for BTV RNA with real time PCR, for BTV serum antibodies by cELISA, and for infectious virus by plaque assay. At necropsy, tissue samples were taken for histopathological examination and tested by real time PCR for viral RNA. Results suggest that if BTV-8 is accidentally or intentionally introduced into the U.S., our white-tailed deer would be very susceptible and would serve as significant virus reservoirs.