A serologic survey revealed that Norwegian populations of free-ranging reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and moose (Alces alces) have been exposed to alpha-herpesviruses and pestiviruses. A total of 3,796 serum samples collected during the period 1993–2000 were tested in a neutralization test for antibodies against bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) or cervid herpesvirus 2 (CerHV-2), and 3,897 samples were tested by a neutralization test and/or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies against bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). Antibodies against alpha-herpesvirus were found in 28.5% of reindeer, 3.0% of roe deer, and 0.5% of red deer, while all moose samples were negative. In reindeer, the prevalence of seropositive animals increased with age and was higher in males than females. Antibodies against BVDV were detected in 12.3% of roe deer, 4.2% of reindeer, 2.0% of moose and 1.1% of red deer. The results indicate that both alpha-herpesvirus and pestivirus are endemic in reindeer and pestivirus is endemic in roe deer in Norway. The viruses may be specific cervid strains. Seropositive red deer and moose may have become exposed as a result of contact with other ruminant species.
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Vol. 39 • No. 4