Prospective Study of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus and Bluetongue Virus Transmission in Captive Ruminants

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© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) cause hemorrhagic disease (HD) in wild ruminants and bluetongue disease (BT) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in livestock. These viruses are transmitted by biting midges in the genus Culicoides (family Ceratopogonidae). Mortality from this disease can reach 90% in certain breeds of sheep and in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). From January until December of 2012, we conducted a prospective study to determine the origin and routes of transmission of BTV and EHDV in captive deer and cattle. The objective was to determine the abundance of Culicoides spp. and BTV/EHDV infection prevalence in midges, cattle, and deer in an area experiencing an outbreak of BT and EHD. Agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) tests to detect for EHDV and BTV antibodies were conducted on serum collected from cattle and deer, quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was utilized for BTV/EHDV RNA detection in tissues from dead deer, and CDC miniature black light traps baited with dry ice were deployed to capture insects. The AGID results showed 19 out of 29 cattle and 18 out of 58 white-tailed deer seroconverted for these viruses during the vector season. Tradition gel-based reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was utilized to determine serotype. Sixteen cows were positive for EHDV-2, EHDV-6, or BTV-12 and 15 deer positive for EHDV-1, EHDV-6, or BTV-12. Specimens from 14 species of Culicoides (Dptera: Ceratopogonidae) (Culicoides arboricola Root and Hoffman, Culicoides biguttatus Coquillett, Culicoides crepuscularis Malloch, Culicoides debilipalpis Lutz, Culicoides furens Poey, Culicoides haematopotus Malloch, Culicoides hinmani Khalaf, Culicoides nanus Root and Hoffman, Culicoides neopulicaris Wirth, Culicoides paraensis Goeldi, Culicoides stellifer Coquillet, Culicoides variipennis Coquillet, Culicoides villosipennis Root and Hoffman, and Culicoides venustus Hoffman) were captured and tested for BTV and EHDV using RT-qPCR assays. BTV viral nucleic acid was detected in three pools from three different species of midges: C. crepuscularis, C. debilipalpis, and C. stellifer.

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Journal of medical entomology

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