We examined sera from snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) livetrapped in the northern Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA), US, for antibodies to Brucella abortus, Francisella tularensis, and snowshoe hare virus (SSHV). Zero of 90, 0 of 67, and 40 of 100 samples were antibody positive for B. abortus, F. tularensis, and SSHV, respectively. Hares were trapped from 2009 to 2012, and of the six animals that were captured twice with at least 1 yr between captures, four developed antibody to SSHV, indicating active exposure to the agent. These findings suggest snowshoe hares in the GYA do not play a significant role as a reservoir of B. abortus, but do maintain the zoonotic, encephalitic SSHV in the population.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3