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ADENOVIRUS infection of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) was first identified in 1997 in free-living animals that had died following translocation and which showed signs of enteritis and splenitis at postmortem examination (Sainsbury and others 2001). Cases continue to be reported in both free-living animals (Duff and others 2007) and red squirrel captive collections (Everest and others 2012). Historically, the majority of red squirrel adenovirus infection cases have been diagnosed by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to demonstrate virus particle presence in intestinal content in animals with enteritis and diarrhoea (Everest and others 2012). Subsequently, a number of spleen samples have been retrieved from squirrels dying of trauma, such as vehicle collisions, and examined using a PCR assay for amplified viral DNA (Everest and others 2012), specifically designed to detect squirrel adenovirus. Use of …
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