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How is Europe positioned for a re-emergence of Schmallenberg virus? - Review

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  • How is Europe positioned for a re-emergence of Schmallenberg virus? - Review

    The Veterinary Journal

    Volume 230, December 2017


    ? Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is an orthobunyavirus transmitted by Culicoides spp. midges.
    ? SBV caused a large scale outbreak of foetal deformities in ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats) in 2011?2013 in Europe.
    ? Decreasing seroprevalence due to reduced virus circulation has provided conditions suitable for re-emergence of SBV.
    ? Due to a low level of vaccine uptake, the ruminant population in Europe is susceptible to outbreaks of SBV infection.

    Schmallenberg virus (SBV) caused a large scale epidemic in Europe from 2011 to 2013, infecting ruminants and causing foetal deformities after infection of pregnant animals. The main impact of the virus was financial loss due to restrictions on trade of animals, meat and semen. Although effective vaccines were produced, their uptake was never high.

    Along with the subsequent decline in new SBV infections and natural replacement of previously exposed livestock, this has resulted in a decrease in the number of protected animals. Recent surveillance has shown that a large population of na?ve animals is currently present in Europe and that the virus is circulating at a low level. These changes in animal status, in combination with favourable conditions for insect vectors, may open the door to the re-emergence of SBV and another large scale outbreak in Europe.

    This review details the potential and preparedness for SBV re-emergence in Europe, discusses possible co-ordinated sentinel monitoring programmes for ruminant seroconversion and the presence of SBV in the insect vectors, and provides an overview of the economic impact associated with diagnosis, control and the effects of non-vaccination.

    ?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 ~~~ ~~~