Blood samples (n =223) of free-ranging roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) were collected from selected hunting grounds in Germany between October 2001 and October 2002. Samples originated from Lower Saxony (n =43) and North-Rhine Westphalia (n =108) within a 20-km area (“cordon”) cordoned off along the border of The Netherlands. This is adjacent to the area of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak that occurred between 21 March and 22 April 2001 in The Netherlands. Negative control samples were taken from northern Germany (Schleswig-Holstein, n =72). Two different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used for the detection of antibodies against foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) serotype O strain Manisa. To confirm ELISA-positive results, a virus neutralization test was performed. All samples tested negative for antibodies against FMDV. These results suggest that FMDV was not transmitted to free-ranging roe deer living in parts of Germany adjacent to the area affected by the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in The Netherlands.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3