Hemorrhagic Disease Diagnostics | No-see-um Identification Services Project (NISP)

CHeRI - Hemorrhagic Disease Diagnostics

What is Hemorrhagic Disease?

Hemorrhagic Disease (HD) is caused by bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV). It is transmitted by blood-feeding flies called biting midges or no-see-ums. In Florida, most cases occur in late summer and early fall and can be an enormous source of mortality for farm-raised deer.

Understanding which virus is circulating is important because the type of virus found may not be controlled by available vaccines.

If you would like more information on Hemorrhagic Disease, check out this publication by CHeRI staff members:

Facts about Wildlife Diseases: Hemorrhagic Fever in White-Tailed Deer (pdf)

Free Diagnostic Testing

If you own a deer farm in Florida, we would like to test sick or dead animals that you suspect have Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or Bluetongue. We will provide necropsy results for free and those results will be completely confidential. This effort will help our researchers determine which HD viruses are circulating in different areas of Florida, will provide information on important coinfections that may increase mortality, and ultimately will help us develop new and better vaccines for HD.

If you have a dead or sick animal, there are several ways you can get us samples:

  1. If you work with a veterinarian, we can negotiate a reimbursement rate for providing us with the needed tissues.
  2. If you have a cold room and can keep the carcass cold, but do not want to necropsy the animal, we can send a CHeRI staff member out to collect tissues.
  3. If you would like to collect tissues yourself, we can provide directions and you can follow the instructional video below.

If you have samples to submit for HD diagnostics call the following number:

CHeRI - No-see-um Identification Services Project (NISP)

What are no-see-um?

No-see-um, also known as biting midges, are blood-feeding flies that can transmit bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV). BTV and EHDV cause Hemorrhagic Disease (HD), an enormous source of mortality for farm-raised deer.

Understanding which midges are present will help CHeRI researchers gain an understanding of midge populations across Florida and allow deer farmers to learn what midges are on your farm, what they are feeing on, and if they are EHDV vectors.

Free Identification Services

CHeRI researchers are offering identification services to learn what midges are present across the state of Florida. This service involves 5 easy steps: 1) CHeRI sends you traps, 2) You set up the traps 3) Send the samples back to CHeRI, 4) CHeRI scientists ID the midges, 5) CHeRI send you a report of the kinds midges on your farm and which are EHDV vectors. You can even request more collection tubes to see how the midge population fluctuates at different times of the year. Check out the video below to learn how to set up the CDC light traps to capture the no-see-um and find the shipping instructions here.

If you would like to identify the midges on your farm, contact Al Runkel at runkela@ufl.edu or call the CHeRI entomology team at 772-778-7200 ext. 162 and ask for Al or Nathan.
We also now offer texting services! Text us at: 772-778-7200 (the same number that you can call, just no extension).