Infection with a newly described endotheliotropic adenovirus was the cause of a 1993 epizootic reminiscent of hemorrhagic disease in California mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus and O. hemionus hemionus). Pulmonary edema and intestinal luminal hemorrhage, or necrotizing stomatitis associated with systemic or localized vasculitis, respectively, were common lesions seen in animals that died during the epizootic. In order to determine if white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) also are susceptible to infection and fatal disease with the deer adenovirus, eight white-tailed deer fawns (4- to 6-mo-old) were inoculated with purified deer adenovirus. Four were inoculated intravenously and four were inoculated through the mucous membranes. Seven days post-inoculation, one of the fawns inoculated intravenously died. Pulmonary edema and hemorrhagic enteropathy were associated with pulmonary and intestinal vasculitis with systemic multiorgan distribution of endotheliotropic adenovirus as demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. Adenovirus was reisolated from lung homogenates of the fawn that died of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1