Caprine herpesvirus-2-associated malignant catarrhal fever in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Hong Li, Arno Wunschmann, Janice Keller, D. Greg Hall, Timothy B. Crawford

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46 Scopus citations


A subacute disease presenting primarily as alopecia and weight loss occurred in 2 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on farms in Minnesota and in Texas. A presumptive diagnosis of malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) was made on the basis of histological lesions. Antibody against an epitope conserved among the MCF group viruses was detected in the serum of both deer. DNA samples from the deer were subjected to a variety of PCR amplifications. Alignment of the amplified sequences from the diseased animals revealed that they were 100% identical to each other and to the same DNA fragment from the newly recognized member of the MCF virus group endemic in domestic goats (Capra hircus), provisionally named caprine herpesvirus 2 (CpHV-2). A seroprevalence survey from one of the deer farms showed a high rate of subclincal infection in the deer population. This study provides further confirmation that CpHV-2 is a pathogen, at least for deer, and emphasizes the risk of loss from MCF when mixing cervids with goats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-49
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


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