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Emerging Diseases
Schmallenberg virus: lessons from related viruses
  1. Hermann-Josef Zentis,
  2. Sabine Zentis,
  3. Yehuda Stram,
  4. Michael Bernstein,
  5. Ditza Rotenberg and
  6. Jacob Brenner
  1. Ruminant Neonatal Diseases Prevention Unit and Abortion Unit, Kimron Veterinary Institute, 50250 Bet Dagan, Israel
  1. e-mail: cvlonghorns{at}

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THE emergence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a Simbu teratogenic serogroup virus, poses a real challenge for European scientists.

Recent work has generated much data, which need to be integrated into a cohesive understanding of disease features and epidemiological nuances, including methods of approach and the application of investigatory modules. Much of these data stem from studies in Europe, where practical experience of exposure to Simbu-related diseases has been minimal or absent.

The recent identification of SBV and the re-emergence of Akabane virus (AKAV) in Israel has led us to rethink how to approach the new Simbu serogroup threat.

Based on the past Israeli experiences in 1969/70 and 2002/03 (Shimshony 1980, Brenner and others 2004), new data collected during the current AKAV infection in Israel (unpublished data, J. Brenner, Y. Stram, D. Rotenberg and others), and on SBV in Europe (Hoffmann and others 2012, Steukers and others 2012), certain concepts on how to cope with Simbu infections are presented.

The Simbu teratogenic serogroup viruses make up one of the largest serogroup within the Bunyavirus genus, where serological cross-reactions among the viruses are common. Several, but not all, of these …

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