Published Date: 2019-01-11 19:13:58
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Bluetongue - Europe: Germany (RP) bovine, st 8, spread
Archive Number: 20190111.6254410
BLUETONGUE - EUROPE: GERMANY (RHEINLAND-PALATINATE) BOVINE, SEROTYPE 8, SPREAD
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Date: Fri 11 Jan 2019
Source: State Investigation Office Rhineland-Palatinate (LUA) - Press release [In German, trans. Comm.SZ, edited]
Bluetongue disease has reached Rhineland-Palatinate. Bluetongue of the serotype BTV-8 has been found on a cattle holding in the district of Trier-Saarburg according to the LUA. The initial result has been confirmed today [11 Jan 2019] by the national reference lab, FLI.
This is the 1st confirmation of the disease since May 2009. The disease affects sheep and cattle but is not known to infect humans. The whole of Rhineland Palatinate state will be declared a restricted area, and there will be restrictions affecting the livestock trade.
The already restricted area in the south of the state, declared in December 2018 after the 1st outbreaks in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Ottersweiler-district) of Rastatt, will be extended. Parts of Northrhine-Westphalia and Hesse will also be affected. The restrictions will be in place for a minimum period of 2 years.
Castleview English Longhorns
[According to a media report, 2 other suspected cases, in the districts of Saarbrucken and the Saarpfalz-Kreis, are yet to be confirmed (https://www.newsarticleinsiders.com/rhineland-palatinate-a-restricted-area-due-to-blue-tongue-disease-imposed).
In view of the current low temperatures, further spread by _Culicoides_ is not likely at present. The virus may have reached the previous (20181213.6208137) and current infected farms by traded animals. Iatrogenic spread is another possible route (e.g., repeated use of injectors).
For subscribers' convenience, some reminder facts on BTV-8 follow.
BTV-8 1st appeared in August 2006 in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, and spread to northern France and Poland. Between July 2006 and December 2008, BTV-8 accounted for about half the 244 000 cases of BTV in Europe due to serotypes 1 and 8 and infected over 60 000 holdings between 2006 and July 2009. Most BTV-8 cases (70%) were reported in cattle. Traditionally, BTV is known to manifest high pathogenicity for sheep, particularly to European sheep breeds, rather rarely to cattle. The virus was recorded also in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, the UK, spreading to southern France, southern Spain, Sweden, Hungary and Austria. In 2009, subclinical BTV-8 was detected in cattle in Italy near the French border and in Sardinia, and in sheep in Greece on the island of Lesvos, facing Turkey's mainland. Norway reported BTV-8 infection in cattle in February 2009, but its spread was limited. In August 2009, a serious outbreak affected dairy cattle in Israel; the virus, found to be homologous with the European strain, was suspected to be introduced by imported cattle.
The spread of BTV-8 decreased after 2008, with 350 cases reported in Europe during 2009 and 19 cases in 2010. In 2013, France declared the freedom of its mainland from bluetongue, but in 2016 the circulation of BTV-8 in eastern France reportedly resumed. In November 2017, 2 outbreaks were reported from northwest Switzerland, close to the triple border junction of Switzerland/Germany/France. It was assumed that the virus was introduced by infected _Culicoides_ from neighbouring France, where BTV-8 had been circulating during the summer and autumn months of 2017. In December 2018, BTV-8 returned to the southwest German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, neighboring France and Switzerland.
In contrast to other wild-type BTV serotypes, BTV-8 causes serious disease in cattle and can cause transplacental infection and immunotolerance in calves. Following the extensive spread of bluetongue in northern Europe, large numbers of pregnant cows were infected with BTV-8 during the breeding season of 2007. Initial reports of abortion and hydranencephaly in cattle in late 2007 were followed by investigations that showed 10% to 42% of healthy calves were infected with BTV-8 before birth.
For additional information, subscribers are referred to References 1 and 2 below.
1. EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW); scientific opinion on bluetongue serotype 8.
EFSA J 2011;9(5):2189. <www.efsa.europa.eu/efsajournal.htm>
2. Biosecurity Australia (2011). Final policy review of the bluetongue virus risks associated with the importation of cattle, sheep, goat, and deer semen and embryos from the European Union and cattle semen and embryos from Switzerland and Norway. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra. http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ba/memos/2021/2011-19a-BTV_Final_Policy_Review_Report.pdf [for the chapter addressing BTV-8, please refer to pages 20-39]. - Mod.AS
Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/9631]