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Schmallenberg slide show

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Schmallenberg slide show

  1. 1. Schmallenberg virus in EuropeTarlinton, R., Daly, J., Dunham, S., Kydd, J. School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
  2. 2. Schmallenberg why the fuss?• Discovered in cattle with diarrhoea in Germany and the Netherlands in Autumn 2011• Genetically very similar to a group of viruses (Akabane virus) known to cause birth defects in calves and lambs in Australia and Japan• Mostly affect ruminants (sheep, goats and cattle in particular)• Tests and monitoring therefore developed• Over 6000 farms in Northern Europe reported deformed lambs or calves in spring/summer 2012• http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=jtZ7kDTQWMM&feature=player_embedded#! School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
  3. 3. How the viruses work• Generally cause mild or no disease in adult animals (diarrhoea in cattle)• If a pregnant animal is infected the virus replicates in the nerve cells of the foetus• This (depending on when the animal is infected) leads to: – abortion – abnormalities of the bones and joints due to failure of normal muscle development – neurological deficits due to failure of brain development Photos courtesy of Amanda Straughton and Jennifer Price School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
  4. 4. How does Akabane behave inAustralia and Japan? • It is spread by biting midges • In endemic areas most animals are infected pre-puberty and are immune • Only sporadic abortions/deformities are seen • If weather conditions change the range of the vector may extend resulting in large numbers of naive animals being infected Photo: culicoides.net • This leads to large-scale outbreaks of foetal deformities School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
  5. 5. What we know now• The virus has been found in Culicoides sp midges and this is probably how it is spreading in Europe• Unfortunately these midges are found all over Europe• Most cattle and sheep in the area where the virus was first identified have had it. It is assumed that they are immune and won’t have another affected calf or lamb• It is spreading throughout the UK and other parts of northern Europe that didn’t have it last year at the moment Map courtesy of Flu trackers.com October 2012 School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
  6. 6. The UK as of Jan 2013• The virus definitely circulated in the UK in summer/autumn 2012• 976 holdings across most of England and Wales have been exposed to the virus (AHVLA Dec 2012).• Also first cases in Northern Island• Vets who have been sending bulk milk samples from diary herds to BioBest laboratories to test for antibodies are reporting that almost all herds have been exposed• Anecdotal reports of large numbers of ewes scanning empty• Data from our own indoor herd would indicate that we have a lower percentage of animals exposed (25%) compared with the 70-100% reported in Belgium and the Netherlands School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
  7. 7. The likely impact• There are likely to be deformed lambs and calves born in spring/summer 2013• Numbers will vary from farm to farm as the deformities will depend on what stage of pregnancy the animals were at when infected.• Data our students collected last year demonstrate that losses may be as high as 30% on some severely affected holdings• The virus will most likely circulate in further years (we have the midges)• Merial have announced vaccine trials but it’s not likely to be available till next year at the earliest School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

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