Specimens from 28 wapiti (Cervus elaphus canadensis) were collected by hunters in southwestern Alberta in 1984. Various tests were performed to detect infections and conditions that could affect cattle sharing the range or cause disease in wapiti. Serum antibodies were present against leptospiral serovars autumnalis (25%), bratislava (4%), and icterohaemorrhagiae (8%), and the viruses of bovine virus diarrhea (52%), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (45%), and parainfluenza type 3 (13%). No serological evidence of bovine respiratory syncytial virus, Brucella, Anaplasma, bluetongue virus, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus was found, nor were any lesions of vesicular diseases, necrotic stomatitis or nutritional myopathy evident. Focal interstitial nephritis and sarcocystosis were diagnosed histologically in 40% and 75%, respectively, of the wapiti tested. The prevalence of giant liver flukes (Fascioloides magna) was 50% and of lungworms (Dictyocaulus viviparus) 32%. Leptospiral serology on cattle in the area did not indicate that wapiti or cattle were a serious source of infection to each other. The giant liver fluke was the parasite most likely to be amplified by wapiti for cattle. Within the limits of this study, the results indicated that wapiti in the Waterton area do not pose a disease threat to the cattle with which they range, but periodic observational studies in these wapiti would be a useful means of early detection of any changes in the interspecies relationship.
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