Serum samples from 350 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texanus) collected in March 1994 from northeastern Mexico were tested for the prevalence of antibody activity against five infectious diseases of ruminants. The prevalence rate was 81% for bluetongue virus (BTV) of all serotypes, 72% for epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), 3% for Borrelia burgdorferi, 69% for Anaplasma marginale, and 0% for Brucella abortus, B. melitensis, and B. ovis. These are diseases that affect domestic ruminants, and deer may act as a reservoir of infection. In addition, if deer are translocated, they may introduce pathogens to formerly disease-free areas. The high seroprevalence of BTV and EHDV cannot be related to the presence of hemorrhagic disease in the deer in this region. This is the first report to indicate the presence of B. burgdorferi infection of deer in Mexico. Despite the high prevalence of A. marginale titers, it is uncertain that deer play a role in the epizootiology of cattle anaplasmosis in the region. Apparently, white-tailed deer are unimportant in the epizootiology of brucellosis of both cattle and goats in northeastern Mexico.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4