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Belgium: another new bluetongue strain: BTV-11

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  • Belgium: another new bluetongue strain: BTV-11

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

    Date: Thu 5 Feb 2009
    From: ProMED-mail
    Source: News release Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the
    Food Chain (FASFC; Dutch FAVV), [trans. Mod.AS, edited]

    The FAVV has formally notified the EU on Tue 3 Feb 2009 that the
    European reference laboratory in Pirbright identified on 15 Jan 2009
    a new BT-serotype, namely BTV-11, in a sample from a cow from a herd
    in East Flanders.
    The cow was sampled in November 2008 as part of a
    routine investigation. In a 1st analysis in CODA, the Belgian
    Reference Laboratory, the possible presence of BTV was demonstrated.
    It was not BTV-1, BTV-6 or BTV-8, the serotypes known to circulate in
    our and neighboring countries. This finding was confirmed in
    additional samples [apparently from the same animal. - Mod.AS], but
    no final characterization of the virus could be effectively attained.
    Eventually, the samples were forwarded in December 2008 to the
    European reference laboratory, which reached the final conclusion
    concerning BTV-11.

    The analysis results and the inability to isolate the virus point out
    that the infection of the cow took place during the 2008 season,
    though probably at a considerable time before the date of the 1st
    sampling in November 2008.

    There are currently no indications that the virus would cause
    clinical problems.

    This finding has no immediate consequences. There is currently only
    an isolated case
    of infection involving one single animal. The tests
    carried out in November 2008 and again during the last month [January
    2009] in the said holding, as well as thousands of tests carried out
    during the recent bluetongue season on samples from the entire
    country, give no indication that BTV-11 could have been effectively
    spread. Such virus circulation is an essential condition for the
    official recognition of a bluetongue outbreak.

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

    [Though the applied tests are not specified in the news release, the
    positive cow may have been discovered serologically; no isolate is
    available. While from administrative, official, legal, and
    bureaucratic aspects the detection of a single BTV-11 positive animal
    does not give rise to prescribed official notification of a "new
    strain of a listed disease," it deserves serious attention. The
    infected animal is autochthon; the infection had taken place locally
    during 2008. Such an infection could have been caused by several
    theoretically possible modes, including the following:

    1. Infected vectors (_Culicoides_).
    2. Applied live attenuated BTV vaccine that includes BTV-11.
    3. Injection of other biological(s) contaminated by BTV-11.

    For details on the listed isolates of bluetongue virus type 11
    (BTV-11) in the dsRNA virus collection at IAH Pirbright, see
    The isolates are from Africa (RSA, Zimbabwe, Nigeria), USA and the
    Caribbean (Dominican Republic).

    BTV-11 is the 3rd BTV strain detected in the lowlands
    (Netherlands/Belgium) since 2006 without their previous known
    presence on European soil.
    These include now BTV-8, BTV-6 and BTV-11.
    A 4th, novel BTV strain ("Toggenburg") has been detected in
    Switzerland in 2008. So far, none of the routes of their
    introduction(s) have been elucidated
    . - Mod.AS],75993
    ?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 ~~~ ~~~