Four of eight red deer calves which had been artificially reared and were lungworm free were vaccinated with bovine lungworm oral vaccine when eight weeks old; the other four were not vaccinated. Three of each category were challenged daily with 500 Dictyocaulus viviparus infective stage larvae per kg liveweight for 17 days when six months old while one in each category was left as an unchallenged control. The effects of challenge were monitored and all challenged deer and one control were killed for post mortem assessment. Challenge with D viviparus was associated with reduced food intakes and weight gains but vaccinated calves were less affected than unvaccinated ones. The reaction of the alveolar tissue of red deer lung to D viviparus was mild in vaccinated and unvaccinated animals and differed from that of bovine lung in that alveolar epithelialisation was limited and hyaline membrane formation and interstitial emphysema were not seen. The disease was most evident in and around airways and was less in vaccinated calves. It was concluded that young red deer are tolerant to D viviparus but will readily acquire infection.
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