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Open AccessArticle

Serosurveillance and Molecular Investigation of Wild Deer in Australia Reveals Seroprevalence of Pestivirus Infection

1
Department of Physiology, Molecular Virology Laboratory, Anatomy and Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3086, Australia
2
Department of Physiology, Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, Anatomy and Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3086, Australia
3
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg 3084, Australia
4
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
5
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, Orange 2800, Australia
6
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Invasive Plants & Animals Research, Biosecurity Queensland, Ecosciences Precinct, Brisbane 4102, Australia
7
Ecotone Wildlife, P.O. Box 76, Inverloch, VIC 3996, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(7), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070752
Received: 28 May 2020 / Revised: 3 July 2020 / Accepted: 8 July 2020 / Published: 13 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus and Related Pestiviruses)
Since deer were introduced into Australia in the mid-1800s, their wild populations have increased in size and distribution, posing a potential risk to the livestock industry, through their role in pathogen transmission cycles. In comparison to livestock, there are limited data on viral infections in all wildlife, including deer. The aim of this study was to assess blood samples from wild Australian deer for serological evidence of exposure to relevant viral livestock diseases. Blood samples collected across eastern Australia were tested by ELISA to detect antigens and antibodies against Pestivirus and antibodies against bovine herpesvirus 1. A subset of samples was also assessed by RT-PCR for Pestivirus, Simbu serogroup, epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus and bovine ephemeral fever virus. Our findings demonstrated a very low seroprevalence (3%) for ruminant Pestivirus, and none of the other viruses tested were detected. These results suggest that wild deer may currently be an incidental spill-over host (rather than a reservoir host) for Pestivirus. However, deer could be a future source of viral infections for domestic animals in Australia. Further investigations are needed to monitor pathogen activity and quantify possible future infectious disease impacts of wild deer on the Australian livestock industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: Australia; deer; prevalence; Pestivirus; ruminants; serosurveillance; virology; wildlife disease Australia; deer; prevalence; Pestivirus; ruminants; serosurveillance; virology; wildlife disease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huaman, J.L.; Pacioni, C.; Forsyth, D.M.; Pople, A.; Hampton, J.O.; Carvalho, T.G.; Helbig, K.J. Serosurveillance and Molecular Investigation of Wild Deer in Australia Reveals Seroprevalence of Pestivirus Infection. Viruses 2020, 12, 752. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070752

AMA Style

Huaman JL, Pacioni C, Forsyth DM, Pople A, Hampton JO, Carvalho TG, Helbig KJ. Serosurveillance and Molecular Investigation of Wild Deer in Australia Reveals Seroprevalence of Pestivirus Infection. Viruses. 2020; 12(7):752. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070752

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huaman, Jose L.; Pacioni, Carlo; Forsyth, David M.; Pople, Anthony; Hampton, Jordan O.; Carvalho, Teresa G.; Helbig, Karla J. 2020. "Serosurveillance and Molecular Investigation of Wild Deer in Australia Reveals Seroprevalence of Pestivirus Infection" Viruses 12, no. 7: 752. https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070752

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