Six red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were given oral doses of homogenized liver from rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that died from rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (RVHD) and four control foxes were given liver from uninfected rabbits. Antibodies to RVHD virus were monitored over 6 months. There was a pronounced antibody response 7 days after exposure which persisted to 14 days and then diminished. Low titers still were evident in three foxes at the end of the experiment. Based on these results, fox serum may be useful as an index of the prevalence of RVHD in sympatric rabbit populations.
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Vol. 31 • No. 4