Solution offered to prevent global spread of Schmallenberg virus in livestock

Enforcement of stricter border controls recommended

Following on from media reports in the UK that the Schmallenberg virus (SBV) had been diagnosed in wild deer, a recent study in New Zealand Veterinary Journal describes how spread of the infection could be suppressed with tighter border controls around the world.

The infection, thought to be transmitted by arthropod vectors, primarily by biting midges, spread rapidly over large parts of North-Western Europe throughout transmission periods during 2011 and 2012. It has recently re-emerged however, at least in France, Germany and the United Kingdom and consequently spread to Austria, Finland, Poland, Switzerland and Sweden.

In most cases, the virus causes only very mild ailments such as fever and diarrhoea in cattle and sheep herds. However, severe and very rare cases have resulted in malformations in the embryo or foetus.

Amidst the mounting concerns now however, is that this emerging disease is beginning to spread to wild animals such as boar and deer. Furthermore, it is possible that farms could suffer financial deficit with losses of as many as 30% of lambs in infected flocks reported.

‘Schmallenberg virus, a novel orthobunyavirus infection in ruminants in Europe: Potential global impact and preventive measures’ discusses the characteristics, transmission and diagnosis of the disease and concludes, in accordance with the recommendations of World Organisation for Animal Health, that strict vector control measures should be implemented at international airports and harbours to avoid the introduction of SBV and similar pathogens through infected arthropods.

With no vaccine currently available, the authors of the article also conclude that metagenomic analysis should be established in national and in supranational reference laboratories or collaborating centres throughout the world, as it has been proven powerful in the detection of SBV.

Read the full article online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00480169.2012.738403

*Any views expressed in this Press Release are not those of the Taylor & Francis Group.

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Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

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For more information please contact:
Andy Hall
Environmental Science & Policy Journals
andy.hall@tandf.co.uk

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References & Links
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NEW ZEALAND VETERINARY JOURNAL
7th DECEMBER 2012, FJ CONRATHS, M PETERS & M BEER

BBC NEWS: FARM VIRUS ‘CAN INFECT WILD ANIMALS’
20th FEBRUARY 2013, HELEN BRIGGS

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About Us

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life. As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine. From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

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