Published Date: 2009-12-06 16:00:05
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Bluetongue - Europe (17): Greece (islands) BTV-1, BTV-16
Archive Number: 20091206.4157
BLUETONGUE - EUROPE (17): GREECE (LESVOS, CHIOS, SAMOS, RHODES) BTV-1, BTV-16
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 3 Dec 2009
Source: EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health
(SCFCAH) meeting 30 Nov-1 Dec 2009: Greece's presentation [edited]
Current Situation of BT [bluetongue] in Greece
In 4 islands of the Aegean Sea (Lesvos, Chios, Samos and the island of
Rhodes, which belongs to the prefecture of Dodekanisa), BT outbreaks
were found [a map is included in the presentation].
1st incursion: In November 2008, we had a new incursion of BT in the
island of Lesvos. 80 flocks were infected (total number of sheep 15
350), meaning 0.5 percent of the flocks of the island. The type of the
virus that invaded the island was identified as BTV-16. In a few
flocks, BTV-8 was also identified.
2nd incursion: Last March , 4 outbreaks were found in the island
of Chios. Sserotype BTV-16 was found.
Recent BT outbreaks:
In late September 2009, new outbreaks appeared in the island of Lesvos
due to serotypes BTV-16 and BTV-1. The total number until now is 134
[outbreaks in livestock]. Just [prior to the appearance of the
clinical outbreaks in sheep], seroconvertion [was detected] in 2
bovines in the region of Kalloni [South Lesvos].
On 23 Nov 2009, seroconversion [was detected] in a bovine in Samos,
and on 25 Nov 2009, 3 new seroconversions [cases] were found in
Rhodes. In all of the said cases, serotype BTV-16 was found.
Clinical symptoms in Lesvos:
The symptoms were moderate and slightly different from those of the
previous year .
Symptoms are observed only in sheep, never in bovines:
- Fever 40.5 C-41.5 C
- Lameness is the main symptom this year .
- Facial edema in some flocks. (Last year, edema was more common). The
animals with edema usually die.
- Nasal secretions and pneumonia.
- In some cases, double infection with BTV-16 and BTV-1 was identified.
[The presentation includes 4 pictures of affected sheep].
The humidity and the warm weather conditions which existed at that
time in combination with moderate northern winds, helped to spread the
Entomological data: In the island of Lesvos, _Culicoides immicola_ were found.
The investigation is continuing for the other islands, and the data
will be available soon.
Serosurveillance program 2009
- Bovine blood samples from 21 prefectures have been tested by
serology every month from February 2009 until now.
- The age of the animals in the beginning of the program had to be
between 6 months and 2 years old.
- The prefectures were selected according to their position, climatic
conditions or according to previous occurrence of the disease.
- The herds were selected so as to be distributed throughout the
territory of the prefecture. Total number of herds: 320.
- The number of animals tested was according to the total population
of every prefecture. Total animals tested: 2040 per month.
- The data from the epidemiological surveillance program shows that
the continental area of the country remains free.
- No seroconvertion or clinical signs have been observed until now in
the rest of the country.
[A detailed table is included, showing the results of the
serosurveillance involving 270 cattle herds in 17 prefectures; in each
of them 5-7 animals were tested twice, once during January-May and the
2nd time in September-November 2009. In total, 20 bovines
seroconverted, all in the 4 prefectures of Dodekanissa, Samos, Chios
and Lesvos, where a total of 1352 animals were sampled. Throughout the
other (continental) 13 prefectures, 10 651 bovines were tested, all
Virus circulation has been found in a very restricted area of Greece,
and the serological and entomological BTV program will be continued by
the end 2009 and the next year.
Castleview Pedigree English Longhorns
Gut Laach 52385 Nideggen, Germany
[Interestingly, only Aegean Islands (and Rhodes) have been found
BTV-affected since 2001, with most cases on the island of Lesvos,
adjacent to mainland Turkey. This picture may be indicative of BTV
circulation in Turkey, and particularly within its western provinces,
a cause for concern in Europe. Lamentably, epidemiological information
regarding BTV (and other orbiviruses such as EHD and equine
encephalosis) from Turkey is rather scanty. Surveillance there for
these viruses should be encouraged; its results will be welcomed. -
A map of Greece & its islands is at: