Adenovirus infection was the cause of an epizootic of hemorrhagic disease that is believed to have killed thousands of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in California during the latter half of 1993. A systemic vasculitis with pulmonary edema and hemorrhagic enteropathy or a localized vasculitis associated with necrotizing stomatitis/pharyngitis/glossitis or osteomyelitis of the jaw were common necropsy findings in animals that died during this epizootic. To study transmission of adenovirus infection in deer and susceptibility of black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) fawns to adenovirus infection, six 3-6-month-old black-tailed fawns were divided into two treatment groups. One group was inoculated intravenously and the other group was inoculated through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth with purified adenovirus. Each treatment group also included two additional fawns (four total) that were not inoculated but were exposed to inoculated animals (contact animals). One fawn served as a negative control. Between 4 and 16 days postinoculation, 8/10 fawns developed systemic or localized infection with lesions identical to lesions seen in animals with natural disease that died during the epizootic. Transmission was by direct contact, and the route of inoculation did not affect the incubation period or the distribution of the virus (systemic or the localized infection). Immunohistochemical analysis using polyclonal antiserum against bovine adenovirus type 5 demonstrated staining in endothelial cells of vessels in numerous tissues in animals with systemic infection and endothelial staining only in vessels subtending necrotic foci in the upper alimentary tract in animals with the localized form of the disease. All inoculated or exposed animals had staining in the tonsillar epithelium. Transmission electron microscopic examination of lung and ileum from two fawns with pulmonary edema and hemorrhagic enteropathy demonstrated endothelial necrosis and adenovirus virions in endothelial cell nuclei. Adenovirus was reisolated in black-tailed deer pulmonary artery endothelial cells using lung homogenate of the first fawn that developed systemic adenovirus infection. Serum virus neutralization test results suggest that this deer adenovirus is a new serotype.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - 1999|
- Experimental infection
- Hemorrhagic disease
- Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
ASJC Scopus subject areas