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Schmallenberg update

NOTES TAKEN BY LIZ BUTLER at a meeting held 9 MARCH 2012 to discuss SCHMALLENBERG VIRUS
(Talk given by IAN NANJANI – Westpoint Vet and Research Consultant
.)



2 Syndromes: (we are talking mainly about sheep but very similar in other livestock)

    Fever +40°C (102.5F)
    Diarrhea
    Impaired general condition
    Recovery: few days for individual animals and 2 to 3 weeks for a flock/herd

    • Deformities
    Twisted limbs and spine
    Brain abnormalities
    Undershot jaw
    Dystocia

    CLINICAL PICTURE:
    Within days, infected animals produce antibodies
    Although there are three stages of pregnancy, early, middle and late, it is thought the SBV effects foetus in the early stage.
    No healthy babes have been found to be viremic.
    Aborted lambs have been found to be viremic.

    CURRENT THINKING:
    If the female is infected prior to mating, the immune system will kick in to protect foetus (as long as it is a few days after midge infected bite)
    If male has fever, do not mate until back to normal.

    DAMAGE:
    It is thought the damage to foetus occurs in the first trimester – normally 1st month after pregnancy in sheep, 1 to 2 months in cattle.

    INFECTION:
    It is thought the midge was blown over from Europe during Sept/Oct 11.

    We, in the UK, are in the last few weeks of lambing but are only just starting calving. A better picture regarding sheep will be drawn up when lambing has finished and all reported cases are analysed. The same will stand for cattle.
    There is no vaccine yet but three companies are working on producing a vaccine and have already started testing. It usually takes 2 to 3 years to produce a vaccine !
    As far as we know, there is only one serotype of this virus.
    Please report ALL abnormalities to your vet so a clearer picture can been seen.

    Since the BT outbreak 3to 4 years ago, the European and British Animal Health departments have been working very closely together. The Germans have taken the lead in the SBV but passing all their info on the everyone else in Europe.

    Further Info:
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahlva/news
    http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases.monitoring/