This study represents the initial part of an investigation into the potential for non-native, wild, free-living muntjac deer (Muntiacus reevesi) to carry viruses that could be a threat to livestock. A degenerate PCR assay was used to screen a range of tissues from muntjac deer culled in Northern Ireland for the presence of herpesviral nucleic acids. This was followed by sequencing of PCR amplicons and phylogenetic analysis. We report the detection of a novel gammaherpesvirus most closely related to a type 2 ruminant rhadinovirus from mule deer. It remains to be determined if this new virus is pathogenic to deer or presents a risk to food security through the susceptibility of domestic livestock.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 15, 2017
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