image of Experimental Infection of White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginanus) with Heartland Virus
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Heartland virus (HRTV) is a phlebovirus suspected to be transmitted by , commonly known as the lone star tick, and reported to cause illness in humans, which is characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia. Heartland virus–reactive antibodies have been detected in a variety of wildlife species including white-tailed deer (WTD). To better understand the potential role of deer in the epidemiology of HRTV, we experimentally inoculated five WTD fawns with HRTV and monitored for clinical disease, viremia, virus shedding, and seroconversion. None of the animals showed signs of clinical disease, and there was no detectable viremia or virus shedding postinoculation. Two wild-caught fawns entered the study with preexisting antibody titers against HRTV. All animals showed minimal immune responses against HRTV after needle inoculation. In conclusion, this study does not indicate that WTD are a likely reservoir for HRTV in natural settings.


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  • Published online : 26 Feb 2018
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