A 3-yr-old male white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) with a history of ataxia and tremors was submitted to the Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory (The University of Georgia, Tifton, Georgia, USA) for necropsy. Gross findings were unremarkable. Histologically, the brain had multifocal lymphoplasmacytic perivascular inflammation, scattered gliosis, and rare satellitosis. Mild hemorrhage and congestion in the retropharyngeal lymph nodes and mild lymphoid depletion in the tonsil were present. A reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction test performed on brain yielded a positive result for West Nile virus. This represents the first report of fatal West Nile virus infection in a white-tailed deer.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1