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A SEROLOGICAL survey of approximately 200 dairy herds in the south east and east of England in June has found evidence of antibodies against bluetongue virus in 80 per cent of the herds tested. However, Defra says that the findings must be treated with caution as they do not imply that there is protective immunity in the dairy herd in the study areas.
The survey and its findings are described in Defra's latest assessment of the ongoing outbreak of serotype 8 of the bluetongue virus (BTV-8) in France and its potential implications for the UK. Produced by Defra's International Disease Monitoring (IDM) team on July 21, the assessment reports that four new outbreaks of BTV-8 have been confirmed in France since July 1, three of which were detected as a result of surveillance activities, while the fourth was a report case. All cases were in cattle and affected just one or two animals. The IDM team says that the extent of the restriction zones in France have not changed as a result of the latest cases and that there have been no recent updates from the French authorities on the wider epidemiological situation or their surveillance plans.
Regarding the serological survey in England, the IDM team …