The feasibility of using dried blood samples for serologic testing of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for antibodies to blue-tongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) was tested with matched samples of serum and eluted dried whole bood. Results from matched serum virus neutralization (SN) tests indicated that a 1-ml elution from a 1- × 2-cm section of filter paper strip containing dried blood approximated a 1:10 serum dilution. Neutralizing antibody titers detected from 34 matched titrations of serum and dried blood samples were equivalent in 25 (74%) titrations and were within a single dilution in the remaining nine (26%) titrations. Eluted blood samples from SN-positive deer, however, did not produce detectable precipitin lines on agar gel immunodiffusion tests for antibodies to either BTV or EHDV. In a trial using serum and dried blood samples from 108 hunter-killed deer from five locations in Georgia (USA), antibody prevalence and serotype distribution results were similar. Use of dried blood samples for serologic testing for antibodies to BTV and EHDV provides a reliable alternative to serum but should be considered only when serum collection is not feasible.
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Vol. 28 • No. 2