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Improving detection of Schmallenberg virus as prevalence increases

N. De Regge, T. van den Berg, L. Georges, B. Clay

The CODA-CERVA research establishment in Belgium has been receiving samples for Schmallenberg virus (SBV) diagnosis since December 2011. However, due to the steep rise in the number of suspected animals and the associated workload and cost, only a limited number of samples per animal could be analysed. This study attempted to identify which tissue taken from the animal would maximise the likelihood of SBV detection if only one sample for each suspected animal could be tested.

To determine the most appropriate tissue for SBV detection in aborted or stillborn malformed lambs and calves using real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR), different neurological and immunological tissues of affected animals (cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, spinal cord, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes and meconium) were examined. The results showed that, among the different organs tested by rRT-PCR, brainstem material, for both calves and lambs, was the most appropriate for SBV detection – the virus was still detected in all other tissues but to a lesser extent.

A virus neutralisation test (VNT) …

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