Published Date: 2016-09-30 16:23:32
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Bluetongue - Europe (17): Cyprus (LA) ovine, caprine, st 8, OIE
Archive Number: 20160930.4528154
BLUETONGUE - EUROPE (17): CYPRUS (LARNACA), OVINE, CAPRINE, SEROTYPE 8, OIE
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Date: Fri 30 Sep 2016
Source: OIE, WAHID (World Animal Health Information Database), weekly disease information 2016; 29(40) [edited]
Bluetongue [BT], Cyprus
Information received on [and dated] 30 Sep 2016 from Dr Penelope Stylianou, Acting Director, Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Nicosia, Cyprus
Report type: Follow-up report No. 2
Date of start of the event: 19 Sep 2016
Date of confirmation of the event: 20 Sep 2016
Date submitted to OIE: 30 Sep 2016
Reason for notification: Reoccurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence: 4 Dec 2014
Manifestation of disease: Clinical disease
Causal agent: Bluetongue virus [BTV]
Nature of diagnosis: Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country
1. Immediate notification (22 Sep 2016)
2. Follow-up report No. 1 (23 Sep 2016)
New outbreaks (6)
[Of the 6 affected holdings, 5 were commercial flocks mixed of sheep and goats, and one was a small unit with 14 sheep; for the respective locations, epidemiological statistics and other details of each of them, all in the Larnaca district, southern Cyprus, please go to the source URL].
Summary of outbreaks
Total outbreaks: 6
Total animals affected
Species / Susceptible / Cases / Deaths / Destroyed / Slaughtered
Sheep & goats / 3157 / 124 / 32 / 0 / 0
Sheep / 14 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0
Outbreak statistics [rates apparent, in percentages]
Species / Morbidity rate / Mortality rate / Case fatality rate / Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Sheep & goats / 3.93 / 1.01 / 25.81 / 1.01
Sheep / 7.14 / 0.00 / 0.00 / 0.00
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection: Unknown or inconclusive; vectors
Measures applied: Movement control inside the country; quarantine; surveillance within containment and/or protection zone; control of vectors; vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists); no treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied: No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type: The Pirbright Institute (OIE Reference Laboratory)
Species / Test / Test date / Result
Sheep & goats / polymerase chain reaction (PCR) / 30 Sep 2016 / Positive
[Though the animal species in 5 of the 6 affected flocks is termed as "sheep/goats" (this terminology refers to mixed flocks, comprising both species), it may be assumed that the animals clinically affected in the described 6 outbreaks were sheep; goats are known to remain, in the majority of cases, clinically unaffected by BTV, though their serology would indicate a history of infection. Unfortunately, the OIE WAHID reporting system does not facilitate a procedure which will allow differentiation between the number of animals of each species and the number of their respective cases within mixed flocks.
The last time Cyprus reported BTV outbreaks was in December 2014, when 6 cattle out of 111 susceptible animals in a farm in Lefkosia were reported to the OIE as infected by BTV-16. No information on their clinical status was available.
The earlier BT outbreak in Cyprus was reported in October-November 2010, when sheep were clinically affected by BTV-4 in 3 districts.
Interestingly, the current outbreak in southern Cyprus is almost synchronic with an (unofficially reported) BTV-8 outbreak in northern Israel (see moderator's comment in 20160923.4510982). A similar phenomenon occurred in 2003-4, when outbreaks of BTV-16 coincided in Cyprus and Israel. It had been long earlier (1980) postulated that a seasonal, annual circulation of BT-infected culicoides midges prevails in the Eastern Mediterranean, the vectors carried by the Persian trough (counter-clockwise) airstream during the 2nd half of each year. This circulation was assumed to usually affect Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and (mainly southern) Turkey, while Cyprus considered to be affected only sporadically -- once every several years (see refs 1,2). It should not be surprising if BTV-8 is found to be currently circulating also in the named Middle Eastern countries, including Turkey.
The seasonal pattern of BT has been observed for decades in Israel, October-November being the peak months. According to Israel's most recent annual report to the OIE, during 2015 bluetongue virus caused 17 outbreaks in sheep and cattle, of which 1 was in July, 10 in October, 2 in November and 1 in December. The BTV serotypes involved were reportedly 4, 5, 8 and 16. No detailed information on the animal species affected by each of the BTV serotypes was included (http://tinyurl.com/grlq2gf). Details on the current event and official confirmation regarding the serotype involved are pending.
At present, BTV-4 is spreading in Montenegro, Croatia and Italy, following its reporting from Greece, Slovenia and Turkey, late 2015. The serotyping of a recent BTV outbreak in Bosnia-Herzegovina is pending.
1. Sellers, RF. Weather, host and vector -- their interplay in the spread of insect-borne animal virus diseases. J Hyg (Camb). 1980; 85(1): 65-102.
2. Sellers RF, Gibbs EP, Herniman KA, Pedgley DE, Tucker MR. Possible origin of the bluetongue epidemic in Cyprus, August 1977. J Hyg (Camb). 1979; 83(3):547-55.
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