Estimation of French cattle herd immunity against bluetongue serotype 8 at the time of its re-emergence in 2015.
ABSTRACT: From 2006 to 2010, France experienced two bluetongue epidemics caused by serotype 1 (BTV-1) and 8 (BTV-8) which were controlled by mass vaccination campaigns. After five years without any detected cases, a sick ram was confirmed in August 2015 to be infected by a BTV-8 strain almost identical to that circulating during the previous outbreak. By then, part of the French cattle population was expected to be still protected, since bluetongue antibodies are known to last for many years after natural infection or vaccination. The objective of this study was to estimate the proportion of cattle in France still immune to BTV-8 at the time of its re-emergence in 2015.We used BTV group-specific cELISA results from 8525 cattle born before the vaccination ban in 2013 and 15,799 cattle born after the ban. Samples were collected from January to April 2016 to estimate seroprevalence per birth cohort. The overall seroprevalence in cattle at national and local levels was extrapolated from seroprevalence results per birth cohort and their respective proportion at each level. To indirectly assess pre-immune status of birth cohorts, we computed prevalence per birth cohort on infected farms in autumn 2015 using 1377 RT-PCR results. These revealed limited BTV circulation in 2015. Seroprevalence per birth cohort was likely to be connected to past exposure to natural infection and/or vaccination with higher seroprevalence levels in older animals. A seroprevalence of 95% was observed for animals born before 2008, of which >?90% were exposed to two compulsory vaccination campaigns in 2008-2010. None of the animals born before 2008 were found to be infected, unlike 19% of the young cattle which had never been vaccinated. This suggests that most ELISA-positive animals were pre-immune to BTV-8. We estimated that 18% (from 12% to 32% per département) of the French cattle population was probably pre-immune in 2015.These results strongly suggest a persistence of antibodies for at least 5-6 years after natural infection or vaccination. The herd immunity of the French cattle population probably limited BTV circulation up to 2015, by which time more than 80% of cattle were naive.
Project description:Bluetongue is a vector-borne disease of ruminants with economic consequences for the livestock industry. Bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) caused a massive outbreak in Europe in 2006/2009 and re-emerged in France in 2015. Given the unprecedented epidemiological features of this serotype in cattle, the importance of secondary routes of transmission was reconsidered and transplacental transmission of BTV-8 was demonstrated in naturally and experimentally infected cattle. Here we used surveillance data from the on-going outbreak to quantify BTV-8 vertical transmission in French cattle. We used RT-PCR pre-export tests collected from June to December 2016 on the French territory and developed a catalytic model to disentangle vertical and vector-borne transmission. A series of in silico experiments validated the ability of our framework to quantify vertical transmission provided sufficient prevalence levels. By applying our model to an area selected accordingly, we estimated a probability of vertical transmission of 56% (55.8%, 95% credible interval 41.7-70.6) in unvaccinated heifers infected late in gestation. The influence of this high probability of vertical transmission on BTV-8 spread and persistence should be further investigated.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bluetongue virus causes febrile disease in sheep and a fatal hemorrhagic infection in North American White-tailed deer. However, in cattle the disease is typically asymptomatic and no clinical overt disease is associated with bluetongue infection. Bluetongue virus activity has been detected in Khartoum, Sennar and South Darfur states of the Sudan. Currently, no information is available in regard to previous exposure of livestock to Bluetongue virus in North Kordufan State, the largest livestock producing region in the country. The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of bluetongue antibodies and to identify the potential risk factors associated with the presence of bluetongue antibodies among cattle in North Kordufan State, Sudan. A total of 299 bovine blood samples were collected randomly from six localities in North Kordufan State and were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of BTV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. RESULTS: The serological evidence of Bluetongue virus infection was observed in 58 out of 299 cows, accounting for a 19.4% prevalence rate among cattle in North Kordufan State. Older cattle (>2 years of age) had four times the odds to be infected with BTV compared to young cattle (OR?=?4.309, CI?=?1.941-9.567, p-value?=?0.01). Application of preventive measures, such as spraying or dipping with insecticide protects cattle against Bluetongue infection. Application of vector control measures decreased the odds for bluetongue seropositivity by 7 times (OR?=?7.408, CI?=?3.111-17.637, p-value?=?0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicated that age and application of routine insecticides are influential risk factors for seroprevalence of Bluetongue in cattle. Surveillance of Bluetongue virus should be extended to include other susceptible animals and to study the distribution of the insect vectors in the region to better predict and respond to BTV outbreak in the State of North Kordufan, Sudan.
Project description:Bluetongue (BT) is a viral disease that affects ruminants and is transmitted by midges of the genus Culicoides spp. The seroprevalence, the clinical form and the occurrence rates significantly differ in relation to several factors such as bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype, host species, breed susceptibility, specific previous exposure, vector ecology, husbandry and health status. Following the 2001-2006 BTV2 and BTV16 epidemics in central Italy, a new epidemic caused by BTV1 occurred in 2013-2015 causing 398 outbreaks in a susceptible population of about 1 million ruminants. The present study assessed the BTV1 seroprevalence in the sheep population of central Italy by conducting two cross-sectional surveys, in the proximity of and within BT outbreak farms. A total of 2,984 sheep from 437 farms were sampled. The animal-level prevalence was 19% (95% CI: 17-21%), the between-herd prevalence was 46% (95% CI: 41-51%) and the within-herd prevalence was 21% (95% CI: 16-26%). Risk factors were investigated by logistic regression models. Living on a farm where an outbreak occurred and the number of outbreaks in proximity of the farm were identified as risk factors, while herd size was identified as a protective factor. This study represents the first BT survey in southern Europe and reports valuable findings on BTV epidemiology. Despite intensive virus circulation, the estimated seroprevalences were low. The assessment of the population immunity level is crucial for defining an efficient vaccination strategy and for predicting the impact of future virus circulation. In view of the low seroprevalence detected albeit an extensive BTV1 circulation, the population immunity was likely to be inadequate in preventing new BTV1 epidemics. Moreover, considering the recurrent introduction of new serotypes from North Africa and the Balkans, the control of multi-serotype BTV infections will continue to present a challenge in the near future.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an economically important, arthropod borne, emerging pathogen in Europe, causing disease mainly in sheep and cattle. Routine vaccination for bluetongue would require the ability to distinguish between vaccinated and infected individuals (DIVA). Current vaccines are effective but are not DIVA. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are highly immunogenic structural mimics of virus particles, that only contain a subset of the proteins present in a natural infection. VLPs therefore offer the potential for the development of DIVA compatible bluetongue vaccines. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Merino sheep were vaccinated with either monovalent BTV-1 VLPs or a bivalent mixture of BTV-1 VLPs and BTV-4 VLPs, and challenged with virulent BTV-1 or BTV-4. Animals were monitored for clinical signs, antibody responses, and viral RNA. 19/20 animals vaccinated with BTV-1 VLPs either alone or in combination with BTV-4 VLPs developed neutralizing antibodies to BTV-1, and group specific antibodies to BTV VP7. The one animal that showed no detectable neutralizing antibodies, or group specific antibodies, had detectable viral RNA following challenge but did not display any clinical signs on challenge with virulent BTV-1. In contrast, all control animals' demonstrated classical clinical signs for bluetongue on challenge with the same virus. Six animals were vaccinated with bivalent vaccine and challenged with virulent BTV-4, two of these animals had detectable viral levels of viral RNA, and one of these showed clinical signs consistent with BTV infection and died. CONCLUSIONS: There is good evidence that BTV-1 VLPs delivered as monovalent or bivalent immunogen protect from bluetongue disease on challenge with virulent BTV-1. However, it is possible that there is some interference in protective response for BTV-4 in the bivalent BTV-1 and BTV-4 VLP vaccine. This raises the question of whether all combinations of bivalent BTV vaccines are possible, or if immunodominance of particular serotypes could interfere with vaccine efficacy.
Project description:Reassortment contributes to the evolution of RNA viruses with segmented genomes, including Bluetongue virus (BTV). Recently, co-circulation of natural and vaccine BTV variants in Europe, and their ensuing reassortment, were proposed to promote appearance of novel European BTV strains, with potential implications for pathogenicity, spread and vaccination policies. Similarly, the geographical features of the Mediterranean basin, which spans over portions of three continents, may facilitate the appearance of clinically relevant reassortants via co-circulation of BTV strains of African, Asian and European origins. In August-October 2017, BTV serotype 6 (BTV-6) was identified in young animals exhibiting classical clinical signs of Bluetongue (BT) at Israeli sheep and cattle farms. Sequencing and pairwise analysis of this Israeli BTV-6 isolate revealed the closest sequence homology of its serotype-defining Segment 2 was with that of South African reference BTV-6 strain 5011 (93.88% identity). In contrast, the other viral segments showed highest homology (97.0%-99.47% identity) with BTV-3, -4 and -9 of Mediterranean and African origins. Specifically, four viral segments were nearly identical (99.13%-99.47%), with Tunisian and Italian BTV-3 strains (TUN2016 and SAD2018, correspondingly). Together, our data suggest that Mediterranean co-circulation and reassortment of BTV-3 and BTV-6 drove the emergence of a novel and virulent BTV-6 strain.
Project description:A convenience sample of sheep and cattle herds around the cities of Harare, Kwekwe and Bulawayo, located in the Highveld region of Zimbabwe, was used to estimate the seroprevalence and sero-incidence of bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) antibodies. A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to identify serum antibodies against BTV and EHDV across three rainy seasons. The median sero-prevalence of BTV and EHDV antibodies in cattle was 62% (interquartile range [IQR]: 30-89) and 56% (IQR: 5-77), respectively. In sheep, the median sero-prevalence of BTV and EHDV was 41% (IQR: 19-63) and 0% (IQR: 0-21), respectively. Median sero-incidences of BTV and EHDV antibodies in cattle of 43% (IQR: 22-67) and 27% (IQR: 9-57) respectively were recorded. The median sero-incidence of BTV in sheep was 14% (IQR: 6-23). Based on these preliminary findings, animal health workers in Zimbabwe should continue to monitor the exposure rates of cattle and sheep to BTV and consider the possibility of strains emerging with increased pathogenicity. There are no previous published reports of antibodies against EHDV in Zimbabwe so the possibility of epizootic haemorrhagic disease existing in domestic livestock should now be considered by Zimbabwean animal health officials. Seroconversions to BTV and EHDV occurred predominantly at the end of each rainy season (March and April), which generally corresponds to high numbers of the Culicoides vectors. BTV isolations were made from three individual cows in two of the sentinel herds and all three were identified as serotype 3. This is the first time BTV serotype 3 has been recorded in Zimbabwe, although its presence in neighbouring South Africa is well documented.
Project description:This is a report of the complete genome sequences of plaque-selected isolates of each of the five virus strains included in a South African commercial trivalent bluetongue virus (BTV) attenuated live virus vaccine, a BTV-4 field strain isolated from Rustenburg, South Africa, in 2011, and a bluetongue reassortant (bluetongue virus 4 strain 4/O. aries-tc/ZAF/11/OBP-115) isolated from experimentally vaccinated cattle. Full-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses show that the bluetongue virus 9 strain 9/B. taurus-tc/ZAF/15/Onderstepoort_B02b is a reassortant virus containing segments from both BTV-9 and BTV-8.
Project description:Bluetongue (BT) is an arthropod-borne viral disease of ruminants with serious trade and socio-economic implications. Although the disease has been reported in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, there is currently no information on circulating serotypes and disease distribution in Zambia. Following surveillance for BT in domestic and wild ruminants in Zambia, BT virus (BTV) nucleic acid and antibodies were detected in eight of the 10 provinces of the country. About 40% (87/215) of pooled blood samples from cattle and goats were positive for BTV nucleic acid, while one hartebeest pool (1/43) was positive among wildlife samples. Sequence analysis of segment 2 revealed presence of serotypes 3, 5, 7, 12 and 15, with five nucleotypes (B, E, F, G and J) being identified. Segment 10 phylogeny showed Zambian BTV sequences clustering with Western topotype strains from South Africa, intimating likely transboundary spread of BTV in Southern Africa. Interestingly, two Zambian viruses and one isolate from Israel formed a novel clade, which we designated as Western topotype 4. The high seroprevalence (96.2%) in cattle from Lusaka and Central provinces and co-circulation of multiple serotypes showed that BT is widespread, underscoring the need for prevention and control strategies.
Project description:Background and Objectives: Germany was affected by Bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) from 2006 to 2009 and recorded new cases since December 2018. We assessed the economic impact of the epidemic from the first cases in 2006 until 2018. Direct costs include production losses, animal deaths, and veterinary treatment. Indirect costs include surveillance, additional measures for animal export, disease control (preventive vaccination and treatment with insecticides), vector monitoring, and administration. Methodology: To estimate the financial impact of BTV-8 on different species and production types at the animal level, we performed a gross margin analysis (GMA) for dairy and beef cattle, and sheep. To estimate the impact on the national level, we used a modified framework described by Rushton et al. (1) and applied a methodology described by Bennett (2). Both the GMA and the economic model on national level were implemented in Excel and the Excel Add-in @Risk. The tools, which are widely applicable, also for other diseases, are made available here. Results: The financial impact of a BTV-8 infection at the animal level was estimated at 119-136 Euros in dairy cattle, at 27 Euros in beef cattle, and at 74 Euros in sheep. At the national level, the impact of the BTV-8 epidemic ranged between 157 and 203 million Euros (mean 180 million Euros). This figure consisted of 132 (73%) and 48 (27%) million Euros for indirect and direct costs. Indirect costs included 89 million Euros (67%) for vaccination, 18 million Euros (14%) for insecticide treatment, 15 million Euros (11%) for diagnostic testing of animals dispatched for trade, 8 million Euros (6%) for monitoring and surveillance, and 3 million Euros (2%) for administration. The highest costs were induced by a compulsory vaccination campaign in 2008 (51 million Euros; 28% of the total costs) and the disease impact on cattle in 2007 (30 million Euros; 17%). Discussion: We compare the outcome of our study with economic analyses of Bluetongue disease in other countries, and discuss the suitability of GMA and the developed tools for a wider application in veterinary economics.
Project description:Bluetongue is an arthropod-borne viral disease of ruminants caused by bluetongue virus (BTV). In China, BTV is relatively common in Yunnan Province with the exception of northern regions around Shangri-La, where the average altitude is approximately 3,450 metres. Recently, the seroprevalence of BTV has been measured in yaks in Shangri-La; therefore, this study investigated BTV infections in this area. The serological investigation in five villages in Shangri-La showed that there were sporadic BTV infections in yaks (20 of 507 positive) during 2014 to 2017, while the seroprevalence of BTV at three goat farms in a nearby river valley was 35%-65% in 2017. Subsequently, 20 sentinel goats were kept on two separate farms in the river valley and monitored for seroconversion between May and September of 2017. Five of the sentinel animals were tested positive for antibodies to BTV by C-ELISA during the study period, and 13 BTV isolates were isolated from ten sentinel animals. All isolates were identified as the same serotype, and the complete nucleotide sequence of one was determined. The genomic sequences showed that the isolated BTV strain belonged to serotype 21 and had approximately 99.8%-100% homology with three Indonesian BTV-21 strains (D151, RIVS-66 and RIVS-60) between their coding sequences (CDSs) except for Seg4 (99.5%). Besides, our data suggested that this BTV-21 strain might have also infected some local yaks and sheep.