In 1985 unusual mortality was observed among the 3- to 4-yr-old white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on Anticosti Island, Québec (Canada). A viral pathogen was suspected to be the cause of the deaths. Thus, a serologic survey for bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1), bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus and parainfluenza-3 (PI-3) virus was conducted. We examined 396 deer sera from 1985. Results indicated that the high mortality mainly afflicted 3- to 4-yr-old deer. In 1985, 57% of deer sampled were seropositive for viral neutralizing antibodies against BHV-1. Prevalences decreased over the next 2 yr of the survey. Prevalence of antibodies against PI-3 virus, determined by hemagglutination inhibition test, remained high (82% to 84%) for the 3 yr period. No deer were seropositive for neutralizing antibodies against BVD virus during the survey period. Analysis of antibodies against BHV-1 and PI-3 viruses according to sex, age and antibody titers revealed that an epizootic BHV-1 infection occurred in 1985; PI-3 infection appears to be enzootic in Anticosti deer.
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Vol. 27 • No. 4