Kansas (USA) could represent a transition area between contrasting epidemiologic patterns of hemorrhagic disease (HD) in the midwestern United States. In this study, we compare the distribution of reported clinical HD with serologic data to determine whether the risk of HD in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is associated with geographic location corresponding to the reported distribution of two white-tailed deer subspecies. On the basis of a high prevalence of antibodies (91–100%) to multiple serotypes of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) and blue tongue virus (BTV), with correspondingly few reports of clinical HD, it appears that a state of enzootic stability exists in central and western Kansas. This area corresponds to the reported range of O. virginianus texanus. In contrast, in the eastern third of the state, which corresponds to the reported range of O. virginianus macrourus, antibody prevalence is significantly lower (45%), EHDV serotypes appear to predominate, and HD, as confirmed by virus isolation, has been consistently reported. These results suggest an abrupt demarcation between enzootic stability in central and western Kansas to a pattern of epizootic HD within the eastern part of this state. Understanding host, vector, and environmental variables responsible for these contrasting patterns could have application to understanding the risk of HD in the midwestern United States.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2