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SCHMALLENBERG VIRUS
Evidence of seroconversion to SBV in camelids

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AT the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), we are conducting a longitudinal serosurveillance of the livestock (about 150 cattle, 1250 sheep and 10 alpacas) on our farm for evidence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) infection. There have already been three proven cases of SBV in our newborn lambs (born on February 1 and 7 and March 30).

We have taken blood samples from all animals during spring 2012 to examine the extent of infection and it is our intention to re-sample them during June to provide data for any further and more recent transmission during the new Culicoides species midge season. Our alpacas were bled in March 2012. SBV serology was assessed by the ID Screen Schmallenberg Virus Indirect ELISA (ID.vet).

The outcome of this survey will be published later. The purpose of this letter is to record that two of 10 alpacas have SBV antibodies (a higher percentage than we have recorded to date in our sheep and cattle) and to highlight this finding to practitioners who might have alpacas in their care. No associated clinical problems have been recorded in these alpacas. We are unaware of any other publication of SBV infection in camelids.

Corin Jack, Olivia Anstaett, James Adams, Robert Noad, Joe Brownlie, RVC, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA

Peter Mertens, Institute for Animal Health, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey GU24 0NF

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