Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) is a -transmitted orbivirus that infects domestic and wild ruminants and is provisionally thought to be distributed throughout Africa, North America, Australia, East Asia and the Middle East. Historically, of the seven proposed serotypes of EHDV, only EHDV-1 and EHDV-2 have been reported from North America. In 2006, EHDV isolates were recovered from moribund or dead white-tailed deer () in Indiana and Illinois that could not be identified as either EHDV-1 or EHDV-2 by virus neutralization tests or by serotype-specific RT-PCR. Additional serological and genetic testing identified the isolates as EHDV-6, a serotype that, although originally described from Australia, has recently been recognized as an emerging pathogen of cattle in Morocco, Algeria and Turkey. In 2007 and 2008, EHDV-6 was isolated again from white-tailed deer, this time in Missouri, Kansas and Texas, suggesting that the virus is capable of overwintering and that it may become, or already is, endemic in a geographically widespread region of the USA. Genetic characterization of the virus indicates that it is a reassortant, such that the outer capsid proteins determining serotype specificity (VP2 and VP5) are derived from exotic EHDV-6, whilst the remaining structural and non-structural proteins are apparently obtained from indigenous EHDV-2 (Alberta).


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EHDV serogroup- and serotype-specific primers used in this study [ PDF] (74 KB)


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