A total of 294 sera collected between 1999 and 2001 from eight captive and one free-ranging herds of Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) distributed in Saudi Arabia (SA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were assayed for antibodies against 13 selected viral agents. Arabian oryx have been exposed to bluetongue virus (BTV), epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), rinderpest virus (RPV), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine adenovirus 3 (BAV-3), cervid herpesvirus-1, foot-and-mouth disease virus, equine herpesvirus 9, and bovine viral diarrhea virus. The high seroprevalence to BTV and EHDV in the UAE and SA indicates that Arabian oryx are likely to be susceptible to infection by these viruses and therefore could act as a source of virus to vectors during the infective stage of infection. Moreover, antibodies were detected against RPV and BRSV in sera from SA and against BAV-3 in sera from the UAE. No antibodies were found against bovine herpesvirus-1, caprine herpesvirus-1, enzootic bovine leucosis virus, and peste des petits ruminants virus. On the basis of these results, caution should be applied when considering translocation of Arabian oryx, and only those proven to be free of infectious agents that might present a risk to other species should be moved.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1