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Serological Evidence for Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Activity in White-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, in Vermont, 2010

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  • Vermont Department of Health, Burlington, Vermont; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado; Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Waterbury, Vermont

Serum samples from 489 free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were screened for antibodies against the Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) using plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNTs). EEEV antibodies were detected in 10.2% of serum samples. This is the first evidence that EEEV is present in Vermont. Serum was collected from deer in all 14 counties in the state, and positive EEEV sera were found in 12 (85%) of 14 counties, suggesting statewide EEEV activity in Vermont. Analysis of the spatial distribution of PRNT-positive samples revealed a random distribution of EEEV throughout the state. The results indicate widespread EEEV activity in Vermont and suggest that EEEV is not a recent introduction to the state but that EEEV activity has not been detected until now.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Erica Berl, Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT 05401. E-mail: Erica.berl@state.vt.us

Financial support: The work done in this study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Vermont Department of Health, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farm and Markets.

Authors' addresses: Erica Berl, Vermont Department of Health, Burlington, VT, E-mail: Erica.berl@state.vt.us. Rebecca J. Eisen, Katherine MacMillan, and John-Paul Mutebi, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Fort Collins, CO, E-mails: dyn2@cdc.gov, iky4@cdc.gov, and jmutebi@cdc.gov. Bethany N. Swope, Inviragen, Inc., Fort Collins, CO, E-mail: bethany.swope+CDC@gmail.com. Kali D. Saxton-Shaw, Entomology Ecology Activity, Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO, E-mail: KSaxtonShaw@cdc.gov. Alan C. Graham and Jon P. Turmel, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Waterbury, VT, E-mails: Alan.graham@state.vt.us and Jon.turmel@state.vt.us.

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