Med. Weter. 68 (11), 662-665, 2012

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Niedbalski W.
Bluetongue – current epizootiological situation in Europe
The article reviews the occurrence of bluetongue (BT) in Europe after 2006. In August this year, BT passed the latitude 50ºN for the first time and BT outbreaks caused by bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype 8 occurred in several countries of North-Western Europe: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Luxembourg. In the years 2007-2008 diseases caused by BTV-8 spread in many other territories of Europe and new, never previously noticed in Europe BTV serotypes 6 and 11 appeared. In Switzerland, a new orbivirus called “Toggenburg Orbivirus” (TOV) was diagnosed in goats, and on the basis of its genetic similarity to BTV was recognized as serotype 25 of BTV. The spread of BTV in those areas could be affected by many factors; among others, climate changes (increase in mean annual temperature and humidity) favor the increasing occurrence of Culicoides vector. Mass vaccination campaigns implemented in Europe in spring 2008 limited the spread of BTV, and, consequently, caused a significant reduction of BT outbreaks in Europe. The number of BTV-8 outbreaks has decreased to 350 in 2009, 19 in 2010 and no cases of BTV-8 disease were reported in North-Western Europe throughout 2011. BT has never been found on Polish territory and Poland has a status free from BT. However, the results of the virological monitoring studies by real-time RT-PCR method of animals imported to Poland after 15 September 2006 confirmed the presence of BTV RNA in 38 samples of blood collected from German cattle, in one sample from Dutch fallow deer and one sample of blood from a 4-week-old calf born from a serologically and virologically positive German dam.
Key words: bluetongue, Europe, epizootiological situation