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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 #361385

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

Location: Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research

Title: Resistance of colostrum-deprived domestic lambs to infection with deer adenovirus

item IMUS, JENNIFER - University Of Wyoming
item Lehmkuhl, Howard
item WOODS, LESLIE - University Of California, Davis

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2018
Publication Date: 12/12/2018
Citation: Imus, J.K., Lehmkuhl, H.D., Woods, L.W. 2018. Resistance of colostrum-deprived domestic lambs to infection with deer adenovirus. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 31(1):78-82.

Interpretive Summary: In the early 1990’s, a novel adenovirus was identified that caused hemorrhagic disease with high death losses in mule deer in California. This virus, termed deer adenovirus (DAdV), has since been found to be a major cause of death in the western United States and has been found in white-tailed deer and moose. The disease caused by this virus is characterized by hemorrhages in the respiratory and digestive tracts of the animals that are infected. The closest relatives genetically to DAdV are bovine adenovirus, goat adenovirus and ovine adenovirus. This raises the question about the susceptibility of domestic ruminant species to this virus. Experiments described here involved the infection of domestic lambs to determine the outcome of infection with DAdV. These experiments revealed that domestic lambs showed no sign of infection by this virus as indicated by clinical symptoms and these lambs showed no sign of an antibody response. A deer was included in the experiment and was shown to be infected and died one week following infection. This suggests that this virus poses little danger to domestic ovine populations.

Technical Abstract: Seven colostrum-deprived, 3–4-wk-old Rambouillet–Hampshire lambs were inoculated via the mucous membranes with deer adenovirus (DAdV) and monitored for clinical signs for 21 d post-inoculation at which time animals were euthanized and postmortem examinations were performed. Pre-inoculation and post-inoculation serum samples were tested for antibodies to DAdV, ovine adenovirus 7, bovine adenovirus 7, and goat adenovirus 1. Evidence for DAdV infection was determined by virus isolation, PCR tests, and histopathology with immunohistochemistry tests for DAdV. No clinical signs or lesions consistent with adenoviral hemorrhagic disease (AHD) in deer were seen in the lambs, and the lambs did not seroconvert to DAdV. DAdV was not detected by PCR, virus isolation, or immunohistochemistry in any of the samples tested from the lambs. A positive control deer similarly inoculated with DAdV developed fatal AHD 1 wk post-inoculation. Our colostrum-deprived lambs did not become infected when inoculated with DAdV.