In the recent investigation of malignant catarrhal fever in a red brocket deer (Mazama americana) from a Texas zoo, the viral DNA from the herpesvirus termed MCFV-WTD, which causes disease in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), was detected. The epidemiology information revealed that the red brocket deer had been associated with a herd of pygmy goats (Capra hircus) at the zoo. MCFV-WTD DNA was also detected in one of these 12 goats that were malignant catarrhal fever viral antibody positive. The amplified herpesviral sequences from the affected deer and the MCFV-WTD–positive goat were identical, and matched the sequence in GenBank. Three of 123 DNA samples from various breeds of goats from different geographic locations in the United States were positive for MCFV-WTD DNA. The study shows that MCFV-WTD is capable of causing malignant catarrhal fever in other species of deer besides white-tailed deer and suggests that goats are a potential reservoir for the virus.
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