A survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of leptospiral antibodies in sera from 248 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Ohio. The sera were collected at check stations during the hunting season in 1983. The microscopic agglutination microtiter test was used to determine the presence of antibodies to Leptospira interrogans serovars pomona, icterohemorrhagiae, canicola, hardjo, and grippotyphosa. Eighteen of 248 (7.3%) serum samples had antibody titers (≥ 1:100) to at least one of the five serovars tested, with three of these samples reacting to more than one serovar. Prevalence did not differ significantly between sex or age groups. The serovar antigens reacting most frequently with serum antibodies were grippotyphosa (10 of 22, 45.5%) and pomona (eight of 22, 36.4%). Sera agglutinating with pomona antigen had higher titers (ranging from 1:200 to 1:6,400) than did sera agglutinating with the other serovars. These results were compared to results obtained from cattle tested at the Ohio Department of Agriculture Laboratories during 1983. There was a significant relationship between pomona infections detected in deer and cattle (P < 0.05), but not with grippotyphosa.
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