In August 1983, a study on parasites, diseases, and health status was conducted on sympatric populations of fallow deer (Dama dama) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from Land Between The Lakes, Lyon and Trigg counties, Kentucky. Five adult deer of each species were studied. White-tailed deer had antibodies to epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus and Leptospira interogans serovariety icterohemorrhagiae, and fallow deer had antibodies to bluetongue and EHD viruses. Serologic tests for bovine virus diarrhea virus, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, parainfluenza3 virus, and Brucella spp. were negative. One white-tailed deer had an infectious cutaneous fibroma, and one fallow deer had pulmonary mucormycosis. White-tailed deer harbored 16 species of parasites, all of which are considered typical of the parasite fauna of this host in the southeastern United States. Fallow deer harbored nine species of parasites, including eight species known to occur in white-tailed deer on the area and one species (Spiculopteragia assymmetrica) that is not. All fallow deer had inflammatory lesions in the spinal cord and/or brain that were attributed to prior infection with meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis), indicating that P. tenuis infections are not always fatal for this species. The apparent high rate of exposure of Land Between The Lakes fallow deer to P. tenuis without a resultant high rate of clinical cerebrospinal parelaphostrongylosis is hypothesized to be due to (1) a low prevalence and intensity of P. tenuis, (2) partial innate resistance of fallow deer, and (3) acquired immunity.
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