wildlife and zoo assay data sheet
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease
Ultrasensitive detection of epizootic hemorrhagic disease
virus by reverse transcription coupled real
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD)
virus belongs to the genus Orbivirus. The virus mainly
causes hemorrhagic disease of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus
can also affect mule deer,
bighorn sheep, elk and pronghorn antelope.
The virus is very infectious and is found throughout
the United States.
United States has EHD outbreaks every year with relatively few
losses of animals. In the northern plains, minor disease losses
are reported every year, but in some years, losses can be
The mode of
transmission of EHD in United States is primarily through a
variipennis. The disease is normally not transmitted
directly from one animal to another, but transmission through
direct contact has been shown to be possible through
experimental inoculation of virus-laden material from infected
deer by subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous or oral routes.
All documented outbreaks of EHD have occurred during late summer
and early fall (August-October), and usually stop within two
weeks of the onset of frost, which kills the midge vector.
Infected deer develop
signs of illness about 7 days after exposure. The onset of the
disease symptoms is very sudden. Infected deer initially lose
their appetite and fear of humans, grow progressively weaker,
often salivate excessively, develop a rapid pulse and
respiration rate, and fever (affected animals frequent bodies of
water to lie in to reduce their body temperature) and finally
become unconscious. Bleeding and lack of oxygen in the blood
result in a blue appearance of the oral mucosa leading to
'bluetongue' (often confused with the bluetongue disease). Eight
to 36 hours following the onset of observable signs, deer pass
into a shock-like state, become prostrate and die.
Initial diagnosis is
often accomplished by observing symptoms of infected animals.
Confirmation by culture of the virus has low sensitivity and
long waiting time. However, molecular detection by PCR offers a
highly specific, sensitive and rapid confirmation of the
diagnosis (Wilson et al., 2009).
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Identify EHD virus carriers
Help ensure that animal populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Wilson, W.C., O'Hearn,
E.S., Tellgren-Roth, C., Stallknecht, D.E., Mead, D.G. and
Mecham, J.O. (2009)
Detection of all eight serotypes of Epizootic hemorrhagic
disease virus by real-time reverse transcription polymerase
chain reaction. J. Vet. Diagn. Invest. 21:220-225.
Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top)
saliva swab, or 0.2 ml semen, or 0.2 ml fresh or
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR