Bluetongue (BT) is a disease in ruminants caused by an Orbivirus that is transmitted by midges. There are at least 29 serotypes of Bluetongue virus (BTV). The virus reproduces in ruminants and in midges. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research conducts research on this disease.
Which animals are susceptible to bluetongue?
Infected midges naturally infect domestic and wild ruminants (for example, sheep, cattle, goats and deer) and camelids (such as the llama and alpaca) by bites during feeding. Cattle show higher and longer viraemia than sheep, but the disease is seen more frequently and more severe in sheep (depending on the serotype of BTV).
What are the symptoms?
The disease is characterized by inflammation of the mucus membranes around the mouth and nose, this inflammation causes the rarely seen 'blue tongue' that gives the disease its name.
Can people become infected?
Bluetongue does not affect humans so there are no public health implications.
Where does the bluetongue virus circulate?
Bluetongue occurs almost everywhere in the world. In Europe, the spread of Bluetongue virus was formerly associated to the presence of Culicoides imicola. In 2006 it became clear that BTV could also be spread by endemic species of Culicoides in Northern parts of Europe.
Is the Netherlands free of bluetongue?
After several years without new infections, the Netherlands, together with a number of other North-Western European countries, was officially declared free of bluetongue in 2012.
In Southern Europe there is great difficulty in getting the different serotypes of the virus under control, partly due to reintroductions from North Africa.
How can we prevent the spread?
The spread of bluetongue can be reduced by controlling midges. Local application of insect repellents is possible to reduce the risk of contamination.
Can animals be tested for bluetongue?
As the national reference laboratory of the Netherlands, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research can test animals for bluetongue. A suspicion can be refuted or confirmed. Healthy animals can also be tested to rule out bluetongue, for example for import/export, semen and ovum production and national animal transport.
Balance of RNA sequence requirement and NS3/NS3a expression of segment 10 of orbiviruses
Vector-borne disease surveillance in livestock populations : A critical review of literature recommendations and implemented surveillance (BTV-8) in five European countries.
Vector independent transmission of the vector-borne bluetongue virus
Effect of Culicoides sonorensis salivary proteins on clinical disease outcome in experimental Bleutongue virus serotype 8 infection of Dorset sheep
Application of Bluetongue Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) vaccine for different serotypes by VP2 exchange or incorporation of chimeric VP2
Non-structural protein NS3/NS3a is required for propagation of bluetongue virus in Culicoides sonorensis
A spatiotemporal model to assess the introduction risk of African horse sickness by import of animals and vectors in France
VP2 exchange and NS3/NS3a deletion in African horsesickness virus (AHSV) towards AHS Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) vaccine candidates
Development of a competitive ELISA for NS3 antibodies as DIVA test accompanying the novel Disabled Infectious Single Animal (DISA) vaccine for bluetongue
Why German farmers have their animals vaccinated against Bleutongue virus serotype 8: Results of a questionnaire survey