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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: West Nile Virus Infection in Reindeer (Rangifer Tarandus)

Authors
item Palmer, Mitchell
item Stoffregen, William
item Rogers, Douglas - UNIV. OF NEBRASKA
item Hamir, Amirali
item Richt, Juergen
item Pedersen, Douglas - APHIS
item Waters, Wade

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2003
Publication Date: May 30, 2004
Citation: Palmer, M.V., Stoffregen, W.C., Rogers, D.G., Hamir, A.N., Richt, J., Pedersen, D.D., Waters, W.R. 2004. West nile virus infection in reindeer (rangifer tarandus). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 16(3):219-222.

Interpretive Summary: West Nile virus (WNV) is transmitted among bird populations by mosquitoes and incidentally infected mammals. First recognized in the United States in 1999, WNV has spread across the United States in subsequent years. Numerous cases of WNV-induced encephalomyelitis have been documented in horses since 1999. Here we report on 4 cases of clinical encephalomeylitis in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) resulting from WNV infection. Clinical signs and lesions were similar to those described in horses; however, these represent the first known cases of clinical WNV infection in Cervidae. This information is important to animal and public health officials, reindeer producers and wildlife managers.

Technical Abstract: West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne member of the Flaviviridae family (genus Flavivirus) transmitted among bird populations by mosquitoes and incidentally infecting mammals. First recognized in the United States in 1999, WNV has spread across the United States in subsequent years. Numerous cases of WNV-induced non-suppurative encephalomyelitis have been documented in horses since 1999. Here we report on 4 cases of non-suppurative encephalomyelitis in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) resulting from WNV infection. Clinical signs and lesions were similar to those described in horses; however, these represent the first known cases of clinical WNV infection in Cervidae.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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