From 1990 until 1992, 355 bloodsamples of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) (n =123), red deer (Cervus elaphus) (n = 60), fallow eer (Darna dama) (n= 87) and other cervid pecies (n = 85) from three different habitats (n = 180) and 11 wildlife parks or zoos (n = 75) in Germany were tested for prevalence of estivirus antibodies. Seventeen samples were seropositive for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV); only one animal had antibodies for Border disease virus. Microneutralization test titers ranged from 1:5 to 1:125. We found no significant difference in antibody prevalence among deer in habitats with high, intermediate and low density of cattle. There were significantly more seropositive individuals in roe deer compared to fallow deer. Significantly more seropositive individuals were found among juvenile animals than among adults. Antibody prevalence in free-ranging cervids was significantly higher compared with that of deer in enclosures. Antibody prevalence in summer was significantly higher than in winter.
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Vol. 31 • No. 2