From 1985 to 1989, 491 serum samples were collected from white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on Ossabaw Island, Georgia (USA) and were tested for neutralizing antibodies to New Jersey and Indiana type vesicular stomatitis viruses. Prevalence of antibodies to vesicular stomatitis New Jersey (VSNJ) virus in deer for the 5-yr period was 43%. Prevalence of antibodies differed by year (P < 0.0001), and was dependent on age class (P < 0.0001) and location on the island (P < 0.0001). Of 173 deer sampled from other locations in the southeastern United States, only two had VSNJ antibody titers normally considered positive (≥1: 32). The positive deer were from Union County, Arkansas (USA) and Wakulla County, Florida (USA). No evidence of exposure to vesicular stomatitis Indiana Virus was observed.
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Vol. 27 • No. 4