Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), one of the most important infectious diseases of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), is vectored by species of midges in the genus Culicoides.Although vector borne, fecal shedding of EHD virus, serotype 2 has been reported from infected deer in a previous study. To evaluate the potential for fecal and oral shedding, oral and rectal swabs were obtained on day 8 post-inoculation from white-tailed deer fawns experimentally infected with EHD virus, serotype 1 (EHDV-1). Eight deer were viremic for EHDV-1; virus was detected in oral swabs from three (38%) and in rectal swabs from four (50%). The ability to isolate EHDV-1 in oral secretions or feces was not dependent on being able to detect clinical disease. These results indicate that in a relatively large proportion of EHDV-1 infected deer, virus can be detected in feces and oral secretions. Although more work is necessary, such shedding may be important in experimental studies or pen situations where deer-to-deer contact is prevalent and intense.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1