Experimental Parelaphostrongylus tenuis infections were established in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and an atypical host, red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus). Groups of deer were fed 10, 25, or 100 third-stage larvae (L3) of P. tenuis and received a single equivalent challenge exposure at varying intervals. Infections were monitored up to 6 yr in white- tailed deer and up to 2.8 yr in red deer. The prepatent period in white-tailed deer varied from 91 to 1,072 days (381 ± 374) and in red deer from 105 to 358 days (167 ± 77). Adult worms lived for up to 6 yr in white-tailed deer. Although most had patent infections until necropsy, latent periods were observed regardless of season. Adult worms lived for up to 2.8 yr in red deer, and patent infections persisted for 20–363 days (152 ± 106). Patent infections were correlated with the presence of adult worms in blood vessels and sinuses of both deer species. Worms were restricted to the subdural space in all deer with latent and occult infections. Adult worm recovery in white-tailed deer fed 10 or 25 L3 corresponded to the mean intensities reported in natural infections of white-tailed deer. Recovery from deer fed 100 L3 was not typical of natural infection intensities. Adult P. tenuis established in all groups of red deer, but neurologic disease was restricted to animals fed 100 L3. Acute neurologic disease was associated with subdural hemorrhage and occurred at 11 mo postinfection in 2 red deer. The absence of postchallenge patent periods and the persistence of occult infections indicated that challenge exposures did not establish. These data indicate that acquired immunity to P. tenuis was established by 6 mo postinfection in both white-tailed and red deer. Latent periods in white- tailed deer and latent infections in red deer reinforce the need for a reliable diagnostic assay.

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