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Friedrich-Wilhelm-Lübke-Koog, Germany

Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Conraths F.J.,Institute of Epidemiology | Van Der Poel W.H.M.,Wageningen University
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2013

SUMMARY In 2011, a novel orthobunyavirus of the Simbu serogroup, the Schmallenberg virus (SBV), was discovered using a metagenomic approach. SBV caused a large epidemic in Europe in ruminants. As with related viruses such as Akabane virus, it appears to be transmitted by biting midges. Transplacental infection often results in the birth of malformed calves, lambs and goat kids. In more than 5000 farms in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland acute infections of adult ruminants or malformed SBV-positive offspring were detected, and high seroprevalences were seen in adult ruminants in the core regions in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The discovery of SBV, the spread of the epidemic, the role of vectors, the impact on livestock, public health issues, SBV diagnosis and measures taken are described in this review. Lessons to be learned from the Schmallenberg virus epidemic and the consequences for future outbreaks are discussed. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012. Source

Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology
Veterinary research | Year: 2014

The arthropod-borne Schmallenberg virus (SBV), family Orthobunyaviridae, emerged in Europe in 2011. SBV is associated with a mild disease in adult ruminants but fetal malformation after an infection during a critical phase of pregnancy. A number of inactivated vaccines have been developed; their efficacy after two injections was demonstrated. To make the vaccination of sheep more efficient and economic the effect of a single immunization with one of these vaccines was investigated in the present study. Five vaccinated sheep and five additional control sheep were inoculated with SBV three weeks after vaccination and the results of a competitive ELISA, a standard microneutralization test and an SBV-specific real-time RT-PCR confirmed vaccine efficacy by demonstrating complete inhibition of viral replication in immunized animals. Source

Eschbaumer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Eschweiler J.,Amt fur Veterinarwesen und Verbraucherschutz A39 | Hoffmann B.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Neutralising antibodies to bluetongue virus (BTV) in convalescent cattle have been described as persistent. Controlled laboratory studies, however, rarely last longer than a couple of weeks and long-term field data are lacking. This study followed twelve cattle that had been naturally infected with bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) in Germany in 2006. Using ELISAs and a serum neutralisation test, we found a strong humoral immune response four to six years after the last exposure to BTV-8; based on data from long-term vaccine studies, it is highly likely that this coincides with immunity to reinfection with the same serotype. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Drager C.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Blome S.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology
Archives of Virology | Year: 2015

Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is the causative agent of a severe multi-systemic disease of pigs. While several aspects of virus-host-interaction are known, the early steps of infection remain unclear. For the closely related bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), a cellular receptor is known: bovine complement regulatory protein CD46. Given that these two pestiviruses are closely related, porcine CD46 is also a candidate receptor for CSFV. In addition to CD46, cell-culture-adapted CSFV strains have been shown to use heparan sulfates as an additional cellular factor. In the present study, the interaction of field-type and cell-culture-adapted CSFV with a permanent porcine cell line or primary macrophages was assessed using anti-porcine CD46 monoclonal antibodies and a heparan-sulfate-blocking compound, DSTP-27. The influence of receptor blocking was assessed using virus titration and quantitative PCR. Treatment of cells with monoclonal antibodies against porcine CD46 led to a reduction of viral growth in both cell types. The effect was most pronounced with field-type CSFV. The blocking could be enhanced by addition of DSTP-27, especially for cell-culture-adapted CSFV. The combined use of both blocking agents led to a significant reduction of viral growth but was also not able to abolish infection completely. The results obtained in this study showed that both porcine CD46 and heparan sulfates play a major role in the initial steps of CSFV infection. Additional receptors might also play a role for attachment and entry; however, their impact is obviously limited in vitro in comparison to CD46 and heparan sulfates. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Wien. Source

Rohrs S.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Kalthoff D.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology
Vaccine | Year: 2014

Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of subtype H5N1 sporadically cause severe disease in humans and involve the risk of inducing a pandemic by gaining the ability for human-to-human transmission. In naïve poultry, primarily gallinaceous birds, the virus induces fatal disease and the used inactivated vaccines occasionally are unable to provide efficient and early onset of protection. Therefore, optimized vaccines must be developed and evaluated in model systems. In our study, we tested a novel H5 neuraminidase-deleted influenza A virus variant to analyze the induction of a very early onset of immunity. Ferrets, mice and chickens were each immunized with a single vaccine dose seven, three and one day before lethal challenge infection, respectively. Sound protection was conferred in 100% of animals immunized seven days prior to challenge infection. In these animals, no clinical signs were observed, and no challenge virus RNA was detected by real-time RT-PCR analyses of swabs, nasal washings, and organ samples. Moreover, the attenuated modified-live virus variant protected all chickens, mice, and ferrets as early as three days after vaccination against severe clinical signs. Chickens and ferrets developed hemagglutinin-specific antibodies after seven days, but no neuraminidase-specific antibodies, making this kind of neuraminidase-negative strain suitable for the DIVA ("differentiating vaccinated from infected animals") strategy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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