Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Clinical Tick Borne Encephalitis in a Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus L.)

Version 1 : Received: 26 January 2022 / Approved: 31 January 2022 / Online: 31 January 2022 (13:21:18 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Da Rold, G.; Obber, F.; Monne, I.; Milani, A.; Ravagnan, S.; Toniolo, F.; Sgubin, S.; Zamperin, G.; Foiani, G.; Vascellari, M.; Drzewniokova, P.; Castellan, M.; De Benedictis, P.; Citterio, C.V. Clinical Tick-Borne Encephalitis in a Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus L.). Viruses 2022, 14, 300. Da Rold, G.; Obber, F.; Monne, I.; Milani, A.; Ravagnan, S.; Toniolo, F.; Sgubin, S.; Zamperin, G.; Foiani, G.; Vascellari, M.; Drzewniokova, P.; Castellan, M.; De Benedictis, P.; Citterio, C.V. Clinical Tick-Borne Encephalitis in a Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus L.). Viruses 2022, 14, 300.

Journal reference: Viruses 2022, 14, 300
DOI: 10.3390/v14020300

Abstract

Tick borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is the causative agent of Tick borne encephalitis in humans, a severe zoonosis occurring in the Paleartic region mainly transmitted through ticks belonging to the genus Ixodes. In Italy, TBEV is restricted to few foci in the north-eastern part of the country. This report describes for the first time a case of clinical TBE in a roe deer, occurred in the Belluno province, Veneto region, an area highly endemic for the presence of the virus. The affected roe deer showed ataxia, staggering movements, muscle tremors and persistent teeth grinding causing hypersalivation. At necropsy, the macroscopic picture was inconclusive. RNA of TBEV was detected by real-time RT-PCR. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a close relationship to TBEV of the European subtype, and 100% similarity with a virus from the bordering Trento Province. The histological examination of the midbrain confirmed the viral etiology and specific immunofluorescence indicated the presence of a Flavivirus infection and characterized the pattern of infection in the neurons. This report underlines for the first time the occurrence of clinical encephalitic manifestations due to TBEV in a roe deer, thussuggesting to include this pathogen in the frame of differential diagnosis in this species.

Keywords

roe deer; Tick-Borne Encephalitis; neurologic disease; pathology; genetic characterization

Subject

BIOLOGY, Animal Sciences & Zoology

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