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Post-Epidemic Distribution of Schmallenberg Virus in Culicoides Arbovirus Vectors in Poland

Department of Virology, National Veterinary Institute, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, C/o Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine University College Dublin, Belfield, D04 W6F6 Dublin 4, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(5), 447;
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Vector-Host Interactions of Culicoides-Borne Diseases)
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Pooled samples of female and male Culicoides midges (5146 and 332 pools, respectively) that corresponded to a total number of 124,957 specimens were collected between 2013–2017 in the vicinity of cattle barns that were distributed throughout Poland were analyzed for the presence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) RNA. Sixty-six pools tested positive (1.2%) with mean Ct value of 34.95. The maximum likelihood estimated infection rate (MLE) was calculated at 0.53 per 1000 individuals; however, it peaked in 2016 with MLE of 3.7. Viral RNA was detected in C. obsoletus/scoticus complex, C. punctatus, and C. pulicaris pools. Moreover, viral material was present in nulliparous (virgin) Culicoides females (MLE 0.27) and for the first time reported in males (MLE 0.34), which suggests the possibility of transovarial route of SBV or virus RNA transmission, as both do not fed on host blood. The accuracy of targeted versus random SBV surveillance in Culicoides vectors was compared. The relationship between infection rate (expressed as minimum infection rate; MIR), in addition to MLE, was compared with the density of virus infected midges (DIM). In conclusion, the SBV infection rate in the vector was significantly higher in 2016 as compared to other surveillance years; this is consistent with the simultaneous increase in SBV seroprevalence (seroconversion) in ruminants during the same year. View Full-Text
Keywords: Schmallenberg virus; Culicoides; transovarial transmission; overwintering; male Culicoides Schmallenberg virus; Culicoides; transovarial transmission; overwintering; male Culicoides

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Kęsik-Maliszewska, J.; Larska, M.; Collins, Á.B.; Rola, J. Post-Epidemic Distribution of Schmallenberg Virus in Culicoides Arbovirus Vectors in Poland. Viruses 2019, 11, 447.

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