From 1981 to 1989, sera were collected from 3,077 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Georgia and from 1,749 deer from 12 additional states in the southeastern United States. In Georgia, prevalence of precipitating antibodies to epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) and bluetongue virus (BTV), as determined by agar gel immunodiffusion tests, was dependent on physiographic region, age, and year. Overall prevalence of antibodies to EHDV and/or BTV was 11, 33, 48, and 14% for the Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Barrier Island regions, respectively. Results suggested varying patterns of EHDV and BTV activity throughout the state. Serologic results from other southeastern states were consistent with the Georgia sample; prevalence estimates (EHDV and/or BTV) for corresponding physiographic regions deviated by <10%. Over this larger geographical area, antibody prevalence in deer appeared to increase with decreasing latitude.
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Vol. 27 • No. 2