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Dorea F.C.,National Veterinary Institute SVA | Elbers A.R.W.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | Hendrikx P.,French Agency for Food | Enoe C.,Technical University of Denmark | And 3 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine

Preparedness against vector-borne threats depends on the existence of a long-term, sustainable surveillance of vector-borne disease and their relevant vectors. This work reviewed the availability of such surveillance systems in five European countries (Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom, part of the CoVetLab network). A qualitative assessment was then performed focusing on surveillance directed particularly to BTV-8. Information regarding surveillance activities were reviewed for the years 2008 and 2012. The results were then complemented with a critical scoping review of the literature aimed at identifying disease surveillance strategies and methods that are currently suggested as best suited to target vector-borne diseases in order to guide future development of surveillance in the countries in question.Passive surveillance was found to be efficient for early detection of diseases during the early phase of introduction into a free country. However, its value diminished once the disease has been established in a territory. Detection of emerging diseases was found to be very context and area specific, and thus active surveillance designs need to take the available epidemiological, ecological and entomological information into account. This was demonstrated by the effectiveness of the bulk milk surveillance in detecting the first case in Sweden, highlighting the need for output based standards to allow the most effective, context dependent, surveillance strategies to be used. Preparedness was of fundamental importance in determining the timeliness of detection and control in each country and that this in turn was heavily influenced by knowledge of emerging diseases in neighboring countries. Therefore it is crucial to share information on outbreaks between researchers and decision-makers and across borders continuously in order to react timely in case of an outbreak. Furthermore, timely reaction to an outbreak was heavily influenced by availability of control measures (vaccines), which is also strengthened if knowledge is shared quickly between countries. The assessment of the bluetongue surveillance in the affected countries showed that the degree of voluntary engagement varied, and that it is important to engage the public by general awareness and dissemination of results. The degree of engagement will also aid in establishing a passive surveillance system. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source

Gethmann J.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Zilow V.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Probst C.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Elbers A.R.W.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | Conraths F.J.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute

In response to the Bluetongue disease epidemic in 2006-2007, Germany started in 2008 a country-wide mandatory vaccination campaign. By 2009 the number of new outbreaks had decreased so that vaccination became voluntary in 2010. We conducted a questionnaire survey in cattle and sheep farms in three German federal states, namely North-Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt to estimate the vaccination uptake in 2010, the intention to vaccinate in 2011 and the main determinants of refusal or acceptance to do so. The results showed that 42.8% (40.6-45.1) of the cattle farmers and 33.8% (31.8-35.8) of the sheep farmers had their animals vaccinated in 2010, whereas 40.7% (38.5-43.0) of cattle and 37.93% (35.8-40.1) sheep farmers expressed their intention to vaccinate in 2011. The main reasons mentioned for having animals vaccinated against BTV-8 were ability to export animals, prevention of production losses, subsidized vaccination, and recommendation by the veterinarian. Motives for refusing vaccination were presumed low risk of infection, costs, absence of clinical BT symptoms, presumed negative cost-benefit ratio, and negative experience with previous vaccination events (side effects). We assume that in order to increase farmers' motivation to have their animals immunized against BTV-8, (1) the vaccination needs to be subsidized, (2) combined vaccines with several different BT serotypes or even other diseases should be available and (3) farmers need to be better informed about the safety and benefit of vaccination. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Meiswinkel R.,Santa Maria del Monte | de Bree F.,Central Veterinary Institute | Bossers-De Vries R.,Central Veterinary Institute | Elbers A.R.W.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR
Veterinary Parasitology

In studies on Culicoides attacking livestock in the Netherlands, we chanced upon a species of the Obsoletus complex that we do not recognize, but whose dark wing pattern is distinctive. Nine cytochrome c oxidase (. CO1) sequences of our so-called 'dark obsoletus' support its status as a separate species, the sequences differing significantly from those representing Culicoides obsoletus (Meigen) (90-91% homology) and Culicoides scoticus Downes & Kettle (87-88% homology). In the last decade, several research groups in Europe have encountered 'mystery species' related to C. obsoletus and in some instances have made their sequences for various genetic loci available in GenBank. These include a CO1 series submitted from Sweden in 2012 (annotated as '. obsoletus 01, 02, or 03 MA-2012') and of which some share a 99% identity with our sequences for 'dark obsoletus'. Without doubt, the series from the Netherlands, along with a portion of the Swedish submissions, together represent a single species ('dark obsoletus'). Whether this species is referable to the Russian Culicoides gornostaevae Mirzaeva recorded recently from Norway, Sweden and Poland, and based solely upon the external morphology of the male, is not clear. The presence in Western Europe of multiple undescribed species related to C. obsoletus means that the taxonomy of this important vector complex is not fully resolved; consequently, we know little about these cryptic species with regard to seasonality, geographic range and host preference. This is undesirable given that Culicoides-borne arboviruses causing disease in livestock are moving more regularly out of the tropics and spreading north into temperate latitudes. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

van Beurden S.J.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | van Beurden S.J.,University Utrecht | Voorbergen-Laarman M.A.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | Roozenburg I.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases

Anguillid herpesvirus 1 (AngHV1) causes a haemorrhagic disease with increased mortality in wild and farmed European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.) and Japanese eel Anguilla japonica, Temminck & Schlegel). Detection of AngHV1 is currently based on virus isolation in cell culture, antibody-based typing assays or conventional PCR. We developed, optimized and concisely validated a diagnostic TaqMan probe based real-time PCR assay for the detection of AngHV1. The primers and probe target AngHV1 open reading frame 57, encoding the capsid protease and scaffold protein. Compared to conventional PCR, the developed real-time PCR is faster, less labour-intensive and has a reduced risk of cross-contamination. The real-time PCR assay was shown to be analytically sensitive and specific and has a high repeatability, efficiency and r2-value. The diagnostic performance of the assay was determined by testing 10% w/v organ suspensions and virus cultures from wild and farmed European eels from the Netherlands by conventional and real-time PCR. The developed real-time PCR assay is a useful tool for the rapid and sensitive detection of AngHV1 in 10% w/v organ suspensions from wild and farmed European eels. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Langeveld J.P.M.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | Jacobs J.G.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | Erkens J.H.F.,Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen UR | Baron T.,Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit | And 8 more authors.

Efforts to differentiate bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from scrapie in prion infected sheep have resulted in effective methods to decide about the absence of BSE. In rare instances uncertainties remain due to assumptions that BSE, classical scrapie and CH1641 - a rare scrapie variant-could occur as mixtures. In field samples including those from fallen stock, triplex Western blotting analyses of variations in the molecular properties of the proteinase K resistant part of the disease-associated form of prion protein (PrPres) represents a powerful tool for quick discrimination purposes. In this study we examined 7 deviant ovine field cases of scrapie for some typical molecular aspects of PrPres found in CH1641-scrapie, classical scrapie and BSE. One case was most close to scrapie with respect to molecular mass of its non-glycosylated fraction and N-terminally located 12B2-epitope content. Two cases were unlike classical scrapie but too weak to differentiate between BSE or CH1641. The other 4 cases appeared intermediate between scrapie and CH1641 with a reduced molecular mass and 12B2-epitope content, together with the characteristic presence of a second PrPres population. The existence of these 2 PrPres populations was further confirmed through deglycosylation by PNGaseF. The findings indicate that discriminatory diagnosis between classical scrapie, CH1641 and BSE can remain inconclusive with current biochemical methods. Whether such intermediate cases represent mixtures of TSE strains should be further investigated e.g. in bioassays with rodent lines that are varying in their susceptibility or other techniques suitable for strain typing. © 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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