To determine prevalence of antibodies against Schmallenberg virus in adult cows and proportion of infection transmitted to fetuses, we tested serum samples from 519 cow/calf pairs in Belgium in spring 2012. Of cattle within 250 km of location where the virus emerged, ≈91% tested positive for IgG targeting nucleoprotein. Risk for fetal infection was ≈28%.
Schmallenberg virus was detected in cattle and sheep in northwestern Europe in 2011. To determine whether wild ruminants are also susceptible, we measured antibody seroprevalence in cervids (roe deer and red deer) in Belgium in 2010 and 2011. Findings indicated rapid spread among these deer since virus emergence ≈250 km away.