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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336833

Research Project: Identification of Disease Mechanisms and Control Strategies for Viral Respiratory Pathogens of Ruminants

Location: Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research

Title: Isolation and characterization of a novel cervid adenovirus from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns in a captive herd

item Ridpath, Julia
item Neill, John
item Palmer, Mitchell
item BAUERMANN, FERNANDO - South Dakota State University
item Falkenberg, Shollie
item WOLFF, PEREGRINE - Nevada Department Of Wildlife

Submitted to: Virus Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2017
Publication Date: 6/27/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Ridpath, J.F., Neill, J.D., Palmer, M.V., Bauermann, F.V., Falkenberg, S.M., Wolff, P.L. 2017. Isolation and characterization of a novel cervid adenovirus from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns in a captive herd. Virus Research. 238:198-203. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2017.06.020.

Interpretive Summary: The adenoviruses are a group of viruses that infect a wide range of host species. These viruses are segregated into different groups based on comparison of genetic material. This report details the detection and characterization of a new type of adenovirus that infects deer. Managing the health of free ranging animals requires that we can identify what pathogens infect them. This report is significant in that it reveals a previously unknown pathogen of deer. The information generated in the study can be used to design diagnostic tools for detecting this virus in deer and determining its impact on deer populations.

Technical Abstract: A novel adenovirus was isolated from buffy coat and serum samples from two captive white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns. The isolation was incidental finding in the course of screening animals for use in a research study on an unrelated pathogen. In the screening process, virus isolation was performed on both nasal swabs and buffy coat samples. Electron microscopy revealed viral particles with the shape and morphology of an adenovirus. Next generation sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis segregated this virus to the Mastadenovirus genus. Its sequence was genetically distinct from all other recognized species in this genus, with only 76% sequence identity to its closest genetic match, bovine adenovirus 3 (BAdV3). The virus could be propagated in bovine derived cells but grew to a higher titer in cervid derived cells. Inoculation of white tail deer fawns with the isolated virus resulted in pyrexia, depletion of thymus tissue and mild respiratory disease. Comparative serology performed using convalescent sera revealed distinct antigenic differences between the novel cervid adenovirus and BAdV3. A retrospective serological survey of the captive deer herd indicated that this virus had been circulating in the herd for at least 14 years with no report of clinical disease. A survey of serum collected from free ranging mule deer residing in Nevada revealed high serum titers against this novel adenovirus.