Published Date: 2006-11-05 00:00:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Bluetongue, ovine - Italy (Sardinia)(02): serotype 1
Archive Number: 20061105.3176
BLUETONGUE, OVINE - ITALY (SARDINIA) (02): SEROTYPE 1
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 31 Oct 2006
From: Pablo Nart <email@example.com>
Source: Ad Maiora Media, [translated by sender, edited]
Bluetongue: Scores of farms hit in Sulcis
The union Movimento Pastori Sardi (MPS; Movement of Sardinian
Shepherds) has announced that in the Sulcis area [see map further],
over 20 farms have been affected by a new epidemic of bluetongue virus.
"The main affected localities are Teulada, Sant' Anna Arresi and
Carbonia; shepherds sources report a very aggressive form of disease
that has already caused many sheep deaths," Felice Flores, MPS president, said.
Mr. Flores also said that, "in spite of the loss of 500 000 animals
in 2001 and 200 000 in 2003, the disease has not been defeated." MPS
is asking for immediate provisions in order to control this new epidemic.
Date: 3 Nov 2006
From: Pablo Nart <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Sardegna oggi [translated by sender, edited]
Bluetongue: in Sardinia, serotype 1
Sardinia has recorded for the 1st time the presence of bluetongue
virus serotype 1. This is an exotic serotype, against which there is
no herd immunity or any available vaccines.
A meeting of the bluetongue crisis cabinet is planned for Monday [6
Nov 2006] in the Ministry of Health in Rome, with the participation
of representatives from the veterinary services and the Istituto
Zooprofilattico Sperimentale (IZS) in Teramo, to discuss the control
of the disease in various areas of southern Italy.
The analysis carried out by the IZS laboratory has confirmed for the
1st time the involvement of serotype 1 of the bluetongue virus [BTV].
This exotic serotype is currently present in North African countries;
our sheep and goats lack effective immunity against it, and no
specific vaccines to protect them are currently available.
Nerina Dirindin, regional head of the health department, has informed
the main associations of breeders, whose collaboration is regarded
The outbreaks have occurred rather late [in the season], compared
with previous years, when the outbreaks started earlier and different
serotypes were involved. A restriction of movement has been
implemented and insecticides applied. The local authorities have
advised farmers to keep the animals indoors before dusk.
The last bluetongue outbreaks in Sardinia were reported a year and a
half ago. To this date [3 Nov 2006], 56 outbreaks have been reported,
with 303 mortalities.
[The 3 affected areas of Teulada, Sant'Anna Arresi and Carbonia are
along the southwestern coast of Sardinia, about 350 km north of
Algiers' Mediterranean coastline; see map at
The infected _Culicoides_ midges have again managed to cross the
distance between Algiers or Tunisia and Sardinia, as they have
allegedly done several times since 2000. In the previous invasions,
BTV-2 and BTV-4 were introduced.
The predominant _Culicoides_ species in Sardinia is _C. imicola_; in
most other parts of Italy covered by entomological surveillance, _C.
imicola_ is sporadic or even absent compared to other _Culicoides_
species. See ppt at
Our preliminary posting on BT in Sardinia (20061103.3162) included
the remark: "BTV-1 is regarded as new to North Africa. Its origin
might become clearer when genotyping is accomplished and published."
A (belated) web-search has revealed that updated information on the
Algerian BTV-1 strain has recently been included in the (commendable)
web-site of the Institute of Animal Health (IAH), Pirbright. The
updated BTV-1 phylogenetic tree, based upon the compared genome
segment 2 nucleotide sequences of BTV-1 isolates in IAH dsRNA virus
collection, are divided into an eastern and a western group. The
strains in the eastern group are from India, Greece, Malaysia and
Australia. The isolates in the western group are divided into 2
lineages; the recent Algerian BTV-1 isolate (coded by IAH as
ALG2006/01) shares a common lineage with 2 isolates from sub-Saharan,
West-African countries, namely Cameroun (CAR1982/01) and Nigeria
(NIG1982/01). The other western BTV-1 lineage includes 3 isolates:
one from Sudan (SUD1987/01) and 2 from South Africa (RSAvvvv/01,
BTV-2, which initially invaded Sardinia in 2000 -- causing severe
losses -- was also genetically related to a western lineage, which
included a Tunisian strain, BTV-2 Tunisia. For all (8) available BTV
phylogenetic trees, see
The only BTV-1 vaccine available at present is a live-attenuated
vaccine produced at Onderstepoort. It will be interesting to follow
the decisions taken by the Italian bluetongue cabinet in tomorrow's
(6 Nov 2006) meeting. Official notification of the outbreak to the
OIE is anticipated. - Mod.AS]