Quantification of the transmission of bovine herpesvirus 1 among red deer (cervus elaphus) under experimental conditions

E. Mollema, F.A.M. Rijsewijk, G. Nodelijk, M.C.M. de Jong

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) is endemically present in a cattle population that lives in a nature reserve in the Netherlands. Red deer (Cervus elaphus), living in the same nature reserve, can come into contact with the BHV1-infected cattle and could then become infected with BHV1. For the eradication of BHV1 in cattle, it is, therefore, important to know whether red deer alone can play a role in the transmission of BHV1. For that reason, we quantified the transmission of BHV1 among farmed red deer under experimental conditions. Two groups of ten animals were formed. In each group, five of these animals were inoculated with BHV1 and the other five served as contact animals. Three inoculated animals in each transmission experiment became infected and none of the contact animals became infected. The one-sided 95% confidence interval for R [0.0¿0.94] showed that limited transmission might occur among red deer. Based on these results, we would expect only minor outbreaks of BHV1 to occur in red deer populations. We concluded that BHV1 will probably not survive longer than a few decades (several times the mean deer lifetime) in red deer populations. Consequently, it is not necessary for the eradication of BHV1 in cattle to eradicate BHV1 in red deer populations as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • cattle
  • alphaherpesviruses

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