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During 2006 the first outbreak of bluetongue ever recorded in northern Europe started in Belgium and the Netherlands, spreading to Luxemburg, Germany and north-east France. The virus overwintered (2006-2007) reappearing during May-June 2007 with greatly increased severity in affected areas, spreading further into Germany and France, reaching Denmark,(More)
The precision of subtyping assays is a matter of importance and debate for epidemiologic and, recently, forensic investigations. Strain identity is commonly used to infer a common source even when spatial and temporal data are not congruent. Moreover, the defi nition of a strain is somewhat unclear and relies on analytical methods that vary widely.(More)
Infection with bluetongue virus serotype (BTV)-8 occurred in ruminants in 2006 in Central-Western Europe. The trans-placental passage of this virus has been demonstrated in naturally- and experimentally-infected cattle and in experimentally-infected sheep. Trans-placental transmission is potentially important in the 'over-wintering' of this virus and its(More)
In 2006 bluetongue (BT) emerged for the first time in North-Western Europe. Reliable diagnostic tools are essential in controlling BT but data on the diagnostic sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) are often missing. This paper aims to describe and analyse the results obtained with the diagnostics used in Belgium during the 2006 BT crisis. The diagnosis(More)
An EDTA-blood sample from a cow without clinical signs, which gave early birth to a newborn calf that died soon after delivery, was shown to be positive for bluetongue virus (BTV)-RNA using a group-specific real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). In-house serotype-specific RT-qPCR assays for bluetongue virus serotype 1 (BTV-1), -6 and -8 all gave negative results.(More)
The control of bluetongue virus (BTV) in Central-Western Europe is greatly complicated by the coexistence of several BTV serotypes. Rapid, sensitive and specific assays are therefore needed to correctly identify the currently circulating BTV serotypes in field samples. In the present study, four serotype-specific real-time RT-PCR assays (RT-qPCR) are(More)
Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assays are being used routinely for diagnosing foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Although most laboratories determine analytical and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, a thorough validation in terms of establishing optimal RNA-extraction conditions, matrix effect, uncertainty of(More)
Hydranencephaly, the almost complete absence of the cerebral parenchyma, induced by infection with modified live bluetongue virus (BTV) crossing the placenta has previously been reported in sheep and rarely in cattle in the USA and in South Africa. The current study describes 29 cases of hydranencephaly in bovine foetuses and 'dummy' calves up to 3 months(More)
Until recently, bluetongue (BT) virus (BTV) serotypes reportedly causing transplacental infections were all ascribed to the use of modified live virus strains. During the 2007 BT epidemic in Belgium, a significant increase in the incidence of abortions was reported. A study including 1348 foetuses, newborns and young animals with or without suspicion of BTV(More)