Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version

September 2004


Published in J Vet Diagn Invest 16:219–222 (2004).


West Nile virus (WNV) infection in 4 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) resulted in lymphohistiocytic encephalomyelitis within the medulla oblongata and cervical spinal cord. Immunohistochemistry revealed WNV antigen within neurons and among mononuclear cell infiltrates. These represent the first known cases of clinical WNV infection in Cervidae. Clinical signs and lesions were similar to those described in horses. Nucleotide sequence of a 768-bp region of the WNV E-glycoprotein gene revealed 1 nucleotide mutation, which resulted in a single amino acid substitution from a serine to a glycine (position 227 of E-glycoprotein) when compared with the prototype WNV-NY99 strain (isolated from Bronx zoo flamingo 382-99).