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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2012 Nov;24(6):1052-6. doi: 10.1177/1040638712462375. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

The occurrence of Bovine viral diarrhea virus in hunter-harvested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the state of Georgia, southeastern United States.

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  • 1University of Georgia, Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigation Laboratory, Tifton, GA, USA. milha@uga.edu


The prevalence of Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) in free-ranging white-tailed deer (WTD, Odocoileus virginianus) in the state of Georgia was evaluated using ear notches collected from hunter-harvested deer during the hunting season of 2010-2011. From September to December 2010, 367 ear samples from WTD were collected from 37 counties in Georgia. The samples were from 178 (48.5%) female deer, 187 (51%) male deer, and 2 (0.5%) of unknown sex. The age of the animals varied from 6 months to 6.5 years. The age was not recorded in 34 animals (9.3%). Of the animals with known ages, 42% were under 2 years. Screening of 367 samples for BVDV using an antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (AgELISA) resulted in 364 negative samples and 3 suspect samples. The 3 suspect samples were negative for BVDV reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), virus isolation, and immunohistochemistry. A subpopulation of samples (n = 89) selected from various geographical regions also tested negative for BVDV RT-PCR. In conclusion, although a few of the samples were suspect for the presence of BVDV by AgELISA, the presence of the virus within the deer population studied could not be confirmed further.

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