Experimental Studies with White-Tailed Deer and Four California Group Arboviruses (La Crosse, Trivittatus, Snowshoe Hare, and Jamestown Canyon)

Charles J. Issel Departments of Veterinary Science and Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

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Daniel O. Trainer Departments of Veterinary Science and Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

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Wayne H. Thompson Departments of Veterinary Science and Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

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Prototype strains of four California group arboviruses were subcutaneously inoculated into 26 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Subsequent viremia and antibody data were the criteria used to evaluate deer as natural hosts and/or indicators for La Crosse (LAC), Trivittatus (TVT), snowshoe hare (SSH), and Jamestown Canyon (JC) viruses. Viremia was detected in 7 of 11 deer inoculated with LAC virus, 1 of 3 with TVT virus, 0 of 3 with SSH virus, and 8 of 9 with JC virus. Viremia with LAC and TVT viruses were of low titer and short duration (1 day), while JC virus viremia persisted for 4 to 5 days, with a peak titer of 3.4 Log10 SMICLD50/0.02 ml. Detectable tissue culture neutralization (TCN) antibodies to the homologous virus persisted for at least 90 days in 9 of 10 surviving deer inoculated with LAC virus, 1 of 3 with TVT virus, 0 of 3 with SSH virus, and 8 of 8 with JC virus. The sera reacted in highest titers to the homologous viruses, and highest titered cross-reactions were noted following LAC virus inoculation. It was concluded that white-tailed deer could be natural hosts for JC virus, and may serve as useful indicators for JC and LAC virus activity in nature.

Author Notes

Present address: Dean, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481.

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