Systemic adenovirus infection associated with high mortality in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in California

Leslie Woods, P. K. Swift, B. C. Barr, M. C. Horzinek, R. W. Nordhausen, M. H. Stillian, J. F. Patton, M. N. Oliver, K. R. Jones, Nigel J Maclachlan

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58 Scopus citations


Seventeen counties in northern California experienced epizootics of high mortality in the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) population during the latter half of 1993. Thirteen deer submitted to the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System as part of this natural die-off had systemic adenovirus infection. Pulmonary edema was present in all 13 deer. Erosions, ulceration, and abscessation of the upper alimentary tract occurred in 7/13 deer. Four of 13 deer had hemorrhagic enteritis. All 13 deer had widespread systemic vasculitis with endothelial intranuclear inclusions. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled antibody directed against bovine adenovirus type 5 bound to antigen in endothelial cells. Adenovirus was identified by transmission electron microscopy within the nuclei of endothelial cells in 6/6 deer examined. An adenovirus was isolated from lung homogenates of one deer that were cultured on black-tailed deer pulmonary artery endothelial cells. With the exception of the intranuclear inclusions evident on histologic evaluation, gross and histologic changes were similar to those described for bluetongue virus infection and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus infection in white-tailed deer. Nine additional deer were emaciated and had pharyngeal abscesses with focal vasculitis, which may represent the chronic affects of previous nonfatal adenovirus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-132
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1996


  • Adenovirus
  • Deer
  • Hemorrhagic disease
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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