Research Article: A retrospective pathology study of two Neotropical deer species (1995-2015), Brazil: Marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) and brown brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira)

Date Published: June 7, 2018

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Pedro Enrique Navas-Suárez, Josué Díaz-Delgado, Eliana Reiko Matushima, Cintia Maria Fávero, Angélica Maria Sánchez Sarmiento, Carlos Sacristán, Ana Carolina Ewbank, Adriana Marques Joppert, Jose Mauricio Barbanti Duarte, Cinthya dos Santos-Cirqueira, Bruno Cogliati, Leonardo Mesquita, Paulo César Maiorka, José Luiz Catão-Dias, Christopher James Johnson.


This retrospective study describes the biological and epidemiological aspects, gross and microscopical findings, and most likely causes of death (CD) in two species of Neotropical deer in Brazil. The animals were collected between 1995 and 2015 and represented 75 marsh deer (MD) and 136 brown brocket deer (BBD). Summarized, pneumonia was diagnosed microscopically in 48 MD and 52 BBD; 76 deer suffered trauma, involving dog attack (14 BBD) and vehicle-collision (14 BBD). Pulmonary edema (50 MD; 55 BBD) and congestion (57 MD; 78 BBD) were the most common findings for both species. Additionally, we diagnosed ruminal and myocardial mycosis in MD and BBD, respectively; ovarian dysgerminoma and pancreatic trematodiasis in BBD; and lesions suggestive of malignant catarrhal fever and orbiviral hemorrhagic disease in both species. The main CD in MD was: respiratory (41/75), alimentary, nutritional, trauma and euthanasia (3/75 each). Correspondingly, in BBD were: trauma (34/131), respiratory (30/131) and euthanasia (9/131). Respiratory disease was often defined by pulmonary edema and pneumonia. We provide evidence that respiratory disease, mainly pneumonia, is a critical pathological process in these Neotropical deer species. Although no etiological agents were identified, there is evidence of bacterial and viral involvement. Our results show trauma, mainly anthropogenic, as a common ailment in BBD. We propose to prioritize respiratory disease in future research focused on South American deer health aspects. We believe anthropogenic trauma may be a primary threat for populations of BBD.

Partial Text

In wildlife, diseases may lead to population decline [1–3]. Some deer species, mainly the white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus), have been extensively studied, with reports of infectious (prion, viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic) and non-infectious diseases (e.g., toxicities, nutritional and metabolic disorders, neoplasia) [4–5]. Wildlife plays a crucial role in the epidemiology of emerging human and livestock infectious agents. It is estimated that more than 70% of these agents can infect multiple species [6–7]. Zoonotic and non-zoonotic examples of infectious diseases in wild ruminants with major socio-economic implications include: foot and mouth disease (FMD) in WTD [8–9]; bluetongue (BT) in WTD and red deer (Cervus elaphus) [10–11]; bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) in WTD [12–13]; chronic wasting disease in WTD [14]; and brucellosis in several North American deer species [15].

Epidemiological and biological data, gross and microscopic findings, and most probable causes of death are recorded in S2 Table. Necropsy reports were available for 70 of 75 MD and 90 of 131 BBD.

Herein, we provide retrospective survey results on biological and epidemiological aspects, gross and microscopic pathologic findings, and most probable CD in two species of Neotropical deer in Brazil.




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