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Bluetongue Disease: BTV 6 in the Netherlands and Germany

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  • Bluetongue Disease: BTV 6 in the Netherlands and Germany

    Published Date 21-OCT-2008
    Subject PRO/EDR> Bluetongue - Europe (62): Netherlands, new strain susp, export ban

    ************************************************** *********************
    A ProMED-mail post
    ProMED-mail is a program of the
    International Society for Infectious Diseases

    Date: Tue 21 Oct 2008
    Source: Farmers Weekly, UK [edited]

    Dutch export ban imposed as 'new strain' of bluetongue is found
    The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture has imposed an export and breeding
    ban on animals susceptible to bluetongue [virus (BTV)] after a
    possible new strain of the disease was discovered.

    A total of 3 animals on different farms in eastern Holland tested
    positive for a form of bluetongue, which differs from the strain
    usually found in the country.

    Dutch scientists have begun investigations into whether the strain is
    a variant of BTV8, the strain being vaccinated against in the UK, or
    new type of the virus.

    As a precautionary measure, the Dutch farming minister imposed an
    export ban on bluetongue-susceptible animals from yesterday (20 Oct

    Under the move, which is initially in place for 2 weeks, producers
    are also banned from breeding sheep, cattle, and goats.

    The ministry said it would make a further decision over the ban once
    more was found out about the strain.

    Dutch farming organisation LTO [Dutch Organisation for Agriculture
    and Horticulture] told Farmers Weekly's sister paper Boerderij that
    it supported the export ban.

    "Given the pressure from abroad and the worrying situation we are in
    because we don't know what is going on, this measure is appropriate,"
    a spokesman said.

    "The measure will cause economic damage, but sometimes there are
    larger interests at stake."

    [Byline: Caroline Stocks]

    Communicated by:
    Sabine Zentis
    Castleview Pedigree English Longhorns
    Gut Laach
    52385 Nideggen

    Date: Mon 20 Oct 2008
    Source: Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, press release [in Dutch,
    trans. Mod.AS, edited]
    <,1640333&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTA L&p_news_item_id=23709>

    Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), Verburg, has
    adopted as a precautionary measure with effect from 20 Oct 2008, at
    18.00, an export ban on breeding and production animals susceptible to
    bluetongue disease, such as cattle, sheep, and goats.

    The Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) has detected in 3 different
    farms in Eastern Netherlands a virus, which is not similar to the
    BTV-8 serotype known to prevail in the Netherlands. The CVI has
    determined that it is not the serotype BTV-1, which is present in

    Further investigations will be carried out in cooperation with the EU
    reference laboratory in the UK, to find if this is a variant of the
    BTV-8 or a new type of the bluetongue virus.

    The affected holdings are blocked and the Food and Consumer Product
    Safety Authority (VWA) is sampling all cattle on the premises for
    further investigations.

    As a precaution, the minister has decided to set up an export ban.
    This measure applies only to ruminants, such as cattle, sheep. and
    goats, and is further limited to breeding and production animals. It
    does not affect animals for slaughter.

    The measure will be effective as of 20 Oct 2008 at 18:00 and will
    apply until more information becomes available about the virus type,
    for a period of up to 2 weeks.

    Communicated by:

    [The Dutch precautionary measure -- banning exports of breeding and
    production ruminants until the completion of the strain's
    identification -- is commendable.

    The Farmers Weekly article (item 1 above) includes also information on
    Dutch producers "banned from breeding sheep, cattle, and goats." This
    is a rather exceptional measure, not mentioned in the official press
    release. Confirmation (with duration of applicability) or otherwise
    will be helpful. If confirmed, such step could be explained by the
    wish of the Dutch authorities to prevent later difficulties in the
    export of pregnant animals due to risk of fetal viraemia, in view of
    the cases of infected offspring born in importing countries (see
    ProMED-mail postings 20080306.0916, 20080308.0948, and

    In our previous posting on the suspected new variant in the
    Netherlands, (archive no. 20081018.3301), we erroneously attributed
    the report to the Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad. The source should
    have instead read Agrarisch Dagblad, a daily newspaper, which has
    been most helpful to ProMED-mail on several occasions. - Mod.AS]

    [see also:
    Bluetongue - Europe (61): Netherlands, new strain suspected, RFI 20081018.3301
    Bluetongue - Europe (41): BTV-8, Netherlands, France 20080808.2441
    Bluetongue - Europe (29): BTV-8, Netherlands 20070828.2817
    Bluetongue - Europe (26): BTV-8, France, Netherlands 20070823.2767
    Bluetongue - Europe (23): BTV-8, Netherlands 20070808.2580
    Bluetongue - Europe (22): BTV-8, Netherlands, confirmed, OIE 20070804.2529
    Bluetongue - Europe (21): BTV-8, fetal infection, vaccination 20080408.1294
    Bluetongue - Europe (14): BTV-8, fetal viremia, vaccination 20080308.0948
    Bluetongue - Europe (13): BTV-8, fetal viremia 20080306.0916
    Bluetongue - Europe (12): BTV-8, fetal viremia, RFI 20080302.0861
    Bluetongue - Europe (10): BTV-8, UK (N. Ireland) ex
    Netherlands-Germany 20080220.0696
    Bluetongue - Europe (08): BTV-8, UK ex Netherlands, serology 20080217.0637
    Bluetongue - Europe (66): BTV-8, UK (Scotland) ex Germany 20071229.4167
    Bluetongue - Europe (41): BTV-8, Netherlands, Denmark 20071013.3360],74464

  • #2
    Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

    NFU issues bluetongue warning after Dutch ban
    <TABLE style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=artByline>ROG WOOD</TD><TD class=artDate style="PADDING-RIGHT: 2px; TEXT-ALIGN: right">October 22 2008</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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    On two of the farms, it appears that animals developed bluetongue symptoms despite being vaccinated against BTV8, the strain most common in Europe.
    Initial reports from Holland suggest that the virus is genetically different from BTV8 and does not appear to be BTV1, the strain currently affecting parts of Spain and France. It is understood that the EU reference laboratory for bluetongue virus in Pirbright, Surrey, is retesting all samples. In light of these develop-ments, the Dutch government, in conjunction with the LTO (Dutch NFU), banned exports until further information is known.

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    NFU Scotland vice-president Nigel Miller, who is also a vet, commented, "This worrying development serves as a sharp reminder of the vigilance that will be needed if Europe is to truly rid itself of the threat posed by bluetongue. This is a complex disease, involving many different strains, and its eradication through vaccination will be a real challenge for veterinary authorities.
    "For Scottish producers, we count our blessings that we remain free of disease but we cannot let our guard down for a single moment. Scotland is a few weeks away from our own vaccination campaign and the winter when temperatures reduce the threat from the midges that transmit the disease. Given Europe's failure to control the disease, we urge producers not to throw away our advantage in disease control by recklessly importing stock from abroad."


    • #3
      Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

      The spread of bluetongue in Europe, illustrates how fast and unexpected an illness suddenly can spread.

      And now this new variant. Type 8 which is prevailing is odd in itself, jumped right from Northern Africa to Belgium ( I think..), did not come from France. Strange things happen.

      A few years ago we had never heard of bluetongue, now it is all over the Netherlands, it spread to Germany, Danmark, Sweden and other countries.

      We used to have a few sheep, we were planning to sell them and after the first news on bluetongue in Holland we sold them right away. Glad we did.

      Report quoted in ProMed mail says "breeding is banned", don't think so, I did not see that confirmed here.

      Edit: export of semen, ova and embryo's of ruminants is banned: (pdf in Dutch)
      ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
      Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

      ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


      • #4
        Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands


        Bluetongue type six found in Holland
        Dutch authorities confirm new strain found
        25/10/2008 08:29:00
        Website EAS

        The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of bluetongue virus strain six on three farms near the country's German Border.

        Earlier this week Holland said there were a number of animals showing bluetongue symptoms which didn't have either strain one of eight of the disease. Bluetongue strain six has not previously been found in Europe and is normally only known to exist in southern Africa and central America.

        The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture said. "The type of bluetongue detected earlier this week in eastern Netherlands appears to be type six.
        "The voluntary vaccination campaign undertaken in the Netherlands has been targeting BTV-8. Bluetongue strain six is found, among others places, in Central America and Africa."

        Announcing the discovery of type six, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), Gerda Verburg, said a so-called 'containment zone' of some 50 km had been placed around the infected farms.

        "On Friday afternoon the EU reference laboratory in the United Kingdom has confirmed the presence of Bluetongue serotype six virus. The measures published last Monday will be replaced by a new scheme, which applies to all ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats."

        The measures applied in the containment zone of 50 km around the infected farms, in the provinces Overijsel and Gelderland, East Netherlands, bordering Germany, include the allowance of the transport of animals for slaughter from the containment zone within the Netherlands, provided the farm has not experienced an outbreak for 30 days.

        Stricter conditions apply to breeding and production animals: such animals will be allowed movement only if kept on midge-free holdings and following a negative test.

        There is, at present, no vaccine against BTV-6 available in Europe. Such vaccines are applied in the BTV-6 infected areas elsewhere in the world. It is still unclear whether in the short term such vaccines can be applied in the Netherlands. The availability of such vaccines worldwide, their applicability and quantities are being checked.

        Author: Jonathan Long


        • #5
          Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

          Oct 25, 2008
          New virus hits Dutch cattle
          AMSTERDAM - A NEW type of the bluetongue livestock virus normally found in Africa or central America has infected cattle in the Netherlands, the Dutch Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.
          Four cows on four different farms were suffering from bluetongue Type 6, for which no vaccine is available in Europe, a ministry spokesman said.

          The disease causes fever and mouth ulcers and in some cases turns an animal's tongue blue. It is transmitted by insects and can be highly dangerous to sheep and cows, although it does not affect humans.

          The ministry was studying whether vaccines against Type 6 available in Africa and central America could be used in the Netherlands, the spokesman said.

          The affected area, in the east of the Netherlands, has been subject to an export ban since Monday, when authorities found signs of bluetongue, the ministry said in a statement.

          The ban was on Friday extended to all ruminants, including cows, sheep and goats, in a 50 kilometres radius around the affected farms, the ministry statement said.

          Exports of livestock from other parts of the Netherlands remain possible where there has been no outbreak of bluetongue for 30 days and other requirements have been met.

          The Netherlands has notified the European Union and surrounding countries.

          A voluntary vaccine programme against bluetongue Type 8 is currently running in the Netherlands and this will continue, the ministry said. Last year, bluetongue affected more than 6,000 Dutch farms. -- REUTERS


          • #6
            Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

            Outbreak seems to be caused by import of a vaccinated animal, or illegal vaccination.

            Bluetongue Virus appears identical to live vaccine against BTV-6

            28 Oct, 2008 17:44

            The bluetongue virus serotype 6 (BTV-6) that is found in the Netherlands is of the same strain in South Africa is used for the production of a vaccine against BTV-6.

            It reports the Ministry of Agriculture on the basis of information from the reference laboratory in Pirbright. Because the virus is from a live attenuated vaccine, it is less likely to be transferable by midges.

            As the virus spreads less rapidly than the bluetongue virus serotype 8 which was introduced in 2006. This is evident even from the spread of BTV-6 on the farms where infected animals have been found. There have no new infections occurred.

            Where the virus has not yet come to say. There is no link with the vaccination campaign against bluetongue serotype 8 in the Netherlands, because this is a dead vaccine has used.

            The introduction of vaccine virus may have occurred through direct or indirect import of livestock from areas where vaccination against BTV-6, but it can also illegally through vaccination with a vaccine.

            In Europe, the vaccine against BTV-6 is not admitted.

            In Israel and South Africa is expected to be vaccinated with live vaccine against BTV-6.

            The Ministry of Agriculture is doing further research into the source of the virus.

            ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
            Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

            ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


            • #7
              Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

              Press release Dep of Agriculture


              Bluetongue type 6 probably vaccine virus

              Press Release | 28-10-2008

              The EU reference laboratory in the United Kingdom found that the bluetongue virus in the Netherlands which has been detected in four animals, corresponds to a vaccine virus strain produced in South Africa. For the time being, the current measures remain in force, within the defined containment area, animals are further examined on Blue Tongue.

              Vaccines based on modified live viruses contain a live but weakened virus. Some of these viruses can still be transmitted animal to animal. In general, animals are not or only slightly ill.

              How the animals got contaminated with this vaccine virus, is unknown. The live virus vaccine against type 6 is not registered in Europe.

              There is no connection with the Netherlands used vaccine against type 8, a vaccine based on an inactivated (killed) virus. The possibility exists that an illegally imported live virus vaccine is used anywhere within a wide radius of the affected companies.

              Further research

              Minister Verburg of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), ordered the Food and Goods Authority and the General Inspectorate of on LNV Tuesday, October 28 to start an investigation into the origin of the infection. In addition, in the containment area, research is conducted to the extent that this vaccine virus is spread.


              After consultation with the European Commission Minister Verburg has decided to enforce existing measures so far.

              - snip -

              ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
              Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

              ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


              • #8
                Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands


                BTv6 in the Netherlands - update

                29 October 2008

                The EU reference laboratory has confirmed that the bluetongue virus detected in four animals in the Netherlands corresponds with the vaccine virus strain. The vaccine (which is a live modified vaccine) is used for BTv6 and other serotypes in South Africa (and possibly elsewhere).

                This type of vaccine is not registered for use in the EU currently so there are serious questions about how this ended up in the Netherlands. The Dutch authorities are carrying out a full investigation and the European Commission emergency vet team has been sent to help.

                It would be wrong to speculate on the reasons until the results of the investigation are published. The tight controls in the Netherlands remain in place - the controls have the effect of stopping all exports of susceptible animals.
                BTv1 in France

                The latest data and maps released by the French government show that BTv1 appears to have jumped to the North West tip of the country. Clearly this is a worrying development and it brings the BTv1 zone much closer to the UK. At this stage we do not know why/how the virus has made this jump and we will try and find this out in the coming days.

                The latest EU map is here.
                NFU Comment

                These latest developments are very worrying and it is an important reminder that whilst we have not seen BT circulating in the UK this year it has not gone away and we have seen the introduction of a new strain BTv6 and the spread of BTv1. This should provide a stark reminder to people of the need to protect their stock from BTv8 - "don't hesitate, vaccinate!" It is also a reminder of the risks of importing animals from BT areas. While we may not be able to legally ban imports the industry need to seriously question the need for importing animals from these areas. So perhaps our new slogan should be "Think before you buy - Keep bluetongue out"!

                As always, we will publish BTV updates in our dedicated Bluetongue channel on NFU Online as they become available.As always, we will publish BTV updates in our dedicated Bluetongue channel on NFU Online as they become available.


                • #9
                  Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands


                  Bluetongue outbreak comes from illegal vaccine
                  * 10:14 30 October 2008
                  * news service
                  * Debora MacKenzie

                  A new type of bluetongue virus found in Dutch cattle last week originated from a vaccine that is illegal in the European Union. Cattle and sheep vaccinated against the bluetongue that has spread across northern Europe since 2006 will be under renewed threat if the new virus spreads, as the current vaccine gives them no protection. The new virus might also hybridise to create new forms of bluetongue.

                  Bluetongue is a disease of ruminants and is carried by tiny biting flies. Normally 16 different strains of the virus circulate in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. In 2006 one, BTV8, appeared suddenly in the Netherlands. It has since spread across northern Europe despite frantic efforts to vaccinate livestock , although vaccination has so far limited its spread in the UK.

                  Last week, cattle at three farms in the eastern Netherlands developed bluetongue symptoms despite two of the herds having been vaccinated for BTV8. Tests on them, and on an animal from a fourth farm in the region found by routine tests, revealed a different strain, BTV6.

                  The Dutch agriculture ministry announced on Tuesday that genetic sequencing at the Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright in Surrey, UK, had shown that the BTV6 matches a vaccine virus strain produced in South Africa. A company there, Onderstepoort Biological Products, makes a widely used live bluetongue vaccine that contains BTV6.

                  "Sequencing indicates it may well be a vaccine-derived virus," says Chris Oura of the Pirbright laboratory.

                  Bluetongue invasion

                  Vaccines made of weakened live bluetongue virus are used in areas such as Israel and South Africa, where bluetongue is endemic. Farmers in southern Europe used these vaccines after 1998, when bluetongue began invading from the Mediterranean basin as temperatures increased.

                  The vaccine viruses are not supposed to make an animal sick or be transmissible. But starting in 2002, evidence emerged that some vaccine viruses were in fact circulating in southern Europe. As a result, live bluetongue vaccines were abandoned in the EU.

                  New Scientist can exclusively reveal why live vaccines cause such problems in Europe. In regions where bluetongue has long been common, livestock is resistant to the virus. The more susceptible animals are treated with live vaccine but the weakened live viruses produce at most slight symptoms..

                  European animals seem to have less resistance, however. Peter Mertens and colleagues at Pirbright reported that some live vaccine strains "can be highly virulent for European breeds", causing symptoms and also transmitting to midges and other animals
                  (Virus Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2008.05.016).

                  It now appears that someone in the region of the affected Dutch farms obtained live bluetongue vaccine containing BTV6 from South Africa. Unless all the farms used such a vaccine, the fact that there were several infection sites means BTV6 must already be circulating in the region.

                  Worryingly, Mertens found that escaped vaccine strains in southern Europe have interbred with wild bluetongue virus to create new hybrids, one of which became the dominant local strain. Pirbright scientists fear that releasing these vaccines in new habitats could create the opportunity for new viruses to evolve.


                  • #10
                    Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

                    BTV 6 circulating in the area, could be from illegal vaccination or from an imported vaccinated animal, spreaded through midges.

                    Vaccinating with BTV 6, while BTV 8 is the prevailing strain and BTV 8 vaccination is going on, paid for by the government, doesn't make sense?

                    Investigations continue.
                    ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
                    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


                    • #11
                      Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

                      LTO = Farmers Union


                      LTO: hurry to trace Bluetongue source

                      29 Oct, 2008 16:19

                      LTO Netherlands believes that the Ministry of Agriculture should make haste to identify the source of the new bluetongue outbreak traced.

                      "The urgency behind the tracing is even greater now that the bluetongue virus serotype 6-comes from live vaccine," said the grouping.

                      LTO expected that the virus in the Netherlands has come through illegal vaccine use in the Netherlands or the illegal import of a vaccinated animal.

                      In German media, the accusations to the Netherlands. German newspapers write that Dutch farmers have illegally vaccinated against bluetongue, the disease has broken out. In the Netherlands, however, rumors that precisely in Germany is illegal vaccinated with a live attenuated virus.

                      The vaccine by the South African laboratory Onderstepoort produced, with a vaccination consists of three different substances.

                      In the three subsequent vaccinations animals should be vaccinated with different vaccines, with each vaccination protected against other serotypes Bluetongue.

                      In the first vaccination is weakened live virus of bluetongue serotype 1, 4, 6, 12 and 14.

                      In the second vaccination has weakened virus serotypes 3, 8, 9, 10 and 11 .

                      ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
                      Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                      ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


                      • #12
                        Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands


                        Illegal Vaccine Triggers Bluetongue Outbreak

                        By Martin Enserink
                        ScienceNOW Daily News
                        30 October 2008
                        European farmers battling bluetongue, a viral disease infecting cattle, sheep, and goats, have something new to worry about. Four cows in the Netherlands have contracted a strain of the virus never before seen in Europe that was most likely introduced via the illegal use of a live vaccine, the Dutch ministry of agriculture announced on Tuesday. Experts worry that the virus might spread, which would complicate the fight against bluetongue.

                        Bluetongue, spread by tiny insects called biting midges, comes in 24 so-called serotypes, several of which are on the rise in Europe. A serotype called BTV1 is rapidly moving northward across France; another called BTV8, which probably originated in Africa, appeared on Dutch farms out of the blue in 2006 and has since spread as far as Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Hungary.

                        Last month, the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI) of Wageningen University in Lelystad, the Netherlands, discovered four animals from four farms that had come down with yet another bluetongue virus. A detailed genetic analysis at the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) in Pirbright, U.K., has now revealed that the outbreak is caused by serotype BTV6 and almost certainly caused by a live bluetongue vaccine produced by Onderstepoort Biological Products, a company in South Africa. The vaccine is used in Africa and the Middle East but is not registered in Europe. Most European countries are loath to use live bluetongue vaccines because of the risk that it may cause disease or mutate to become more virulent.

                        The Dutch agriculture ministry has ordered an investigation into the origin of the outbreak. Three of the farmers had vaccinated their cattle using a killed vaccine against BTV8. They most likely did not use the Onderstepoort vaccine themselves, CVI molecular virologist Piet van Rijn says, but their cattle could have become infected if other farmers in the region used it. There are possible routes, however, van Rijn adds; it may have been imported through infected or vaccinated animals, for instance.

                        The Onderstepoort vaccine--which the company sells for only goats and sheep--comprises three shots that together offer protection against 15 serotypes, including BTV6. How it might have ended up in Europe is unclear. "We have never, ever, ever shipped this vaccine to Europe," says the company's international sales manager, Jacob Modumo.

                        The question now is whether BTV6 is in Europe to stay. Because it was introduced late in the biting midge season and few animals appear to have become infected, van Rijn hopes that the virus won't survive the coming winter. If it does, and if it starts spreading, European farmers may have to vaccinate against BTV6 as well--not with the live vaccine but with a killed one.

                        Meanwhile, a Swiss research team has announced that it has discovered what looks like a new bluetongue serotype--the 25th. In a paper published online by Emerging Infectious Diseases, Martin Hofmann and his colleagues at the Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis in Mittelhaeusern, Switzerland, report a genetic analysis showing that a virus discovered accidentally during routine BTV8 testing--and christened the Toggenburg Orbivirus--is probably a novel bluetongue serotype. To prove it, the team will have to verify that antibodies against the virus don't neutralize the 24 known serotypes and vice versa, Hofmann says; that has been impossible so far because the virus won't grow in cultured cells.

                        "To discover a new BTV is interesting, but to discover it in central Europe is most surprising," IAH virologist Peter Mertens said in a statement issued by his institute today. "This new BTV is so different from other ones that we cannot even guess where it came from." The good news is that the new serotype does not seem to cause any symptoms in goats and sheep, Hofmann says. Whether that's true for cattle is unclear.

                        The European Commission yesterday proposed to spend an extra ?100 million on fighting bluetongue in 2009, on top of the ?60 million already pledged. The measure has yet to be approved by the European Parliament and the member states.


                        • #13
                          Re: Bluetongue Disease: Netherlands

                          - snip from ProMedmail -


                          BTV-6 has now been positively identified in the Netherlands (October
                          2008). The distance between the affected farms is around 50 km (31
                          mi), suggesting that if it originated from a single point
                          introduction, some transmission and spread of the virus had already
                          occurred, although it is uncertain how long the virus has been
                          circulating in the region

                          BTV-6 is a new serotype to Europe, and although its route of entry is
                          unknown, its genome segment 2 is clearly derived from the South
                          African vaccine strain of BTV-6. The only places that we are aware
                          that the BTV-6 vaccine has been used are in Israel and South Africa
                          itself. In each case, it was used as part of a multivalent vaccine.
                          In Israel this involved BTV 2,4,6,10 and 16, while in South Africa
                          the 'Bottle-A' vaccine contains BTV-1, 4, 6, 12 and 14. [The
                          inclusion of BTV-16 in the live multivalent vaccine prepared for
                          Israel by OBP was discontinued -- for safety reasons -- since 2004.

                          Since 2006, the purchase of the quadrivalent live OBP vaccine BTV
                          2,4,6,10 by Israel has been discontinued for administrative reasons,
                          replaced by a commercial inactivated bivalent vaccine BTV 2, 4. The
                          BTV vaccine is used in Israel on a limited scale exclusively for the
                          vaccination of sheep of susceptible European mutton breeds. During
                          2007, 2957 sheep have been vaccinated. - Mod.AS]

                          It has been suggested that the virus could have arrived in the region
                          as the result of illegal use of live attenuated BTV vaccines, and
                          Bottle-A of the south African BTV vaccine, does contain BTV-1, a
                          strain of current concern in many regions of Europe. However, the
                          absence of antibodies to multiple other serotypes in the antiserum
                          from Heeten indicates that this animal at least had not received
                          either of the multivalent vaccine preparations that are known to have
                          been generated by OBP in South Africa.

                          We are currently sequencing the entire genome of the new virus strain
                          to see if it is completely similar to the live vaccine strain or if
                          it is a reassortant containing genome segments from other strains.

                          This might provide additional indications concerning its origins and
                          movement (as with the BTV-16 strain from Italy 2002 - Batten et al

                          ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
                          Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                          ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


                          • #14
                            Re: Bluetongue Disease: BTV 6 in the Netherlands and Germany

                            From ProMedmail:

                            Date: Thu 6 Nov 2008

                            Source: Agrarisch Dagblad [Dutch, trans. Mod.AS, edited]


                            Following the discovery of bluetongue serotype 6 (BTV-6) [in the
                            Netherlands], the disease has now emerged in Germany as well.

                            Cows positive to this serotype have been found on 3 holdings in Bentheim
                            county, adjacent to the Dutch border.

                            It is not known how these animals got infected.

                            Lower Saxony's Ministry of Agriculture has taken into consideration
                            infection through midges introduced from the Netherlands or
                            [locally applied] illegal vaccination with a live vaccine.

                            ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
                            Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                            ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


                            • #15
                              Re: Bluetongue Disease: BTV 6 in the Netherlands and Germany

                              Again Bluetongue found

                              Released: November 10, 2008

                              DEN HAAG - In our country two new cases of bluetongue are found. The area where measures are in force to spread is extended.

                              This, the Ministry of Agriculture announced Monday. The two new cases of type 6 to cattle coming from the provinces of Overijssel and Utrecht.

                              ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
                              Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

                              ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~