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Open AccessReview

Bluetongue Virus in France: An Illustration of the European and Mediterranean Context since the 2000s

UMR Virologie, INRA, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, laboratoire de santé animale d’Alfort, ANSES, Université Paris-Est, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 672;
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Vector-Host Interactions of Culicoides-Borne Diseases)
PDF [719 KB, uploaded 23 July 2019]


Bluetongue (BT) is a non-contagious animal disease transmitted by midges of the Culicoides genus. The etiological agent is the BT virus (BTV) that induces a variety of clinical signs in wild or domestic ruminants. BT is included in the notifiable diseases list of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) due to its health impact on domestic ruminants. A total of 27 BTV serotypes have been described and additional serotypes have recently been identified. Since the 2000s, the distribution of BTV has changed in Europe and in the Mediterranean Basin, with continuous BTV incursions involving various BTV serotypes and strains. These BTV strains, depending on their origin, have emerged and spread through various routes in the Mediterranean Basin and/or in Europe. Consequently, control measures have been put in place in France to eradicate the virus or circumscribe its spread. These measures mainly consist of assessing virus movements and the vaccination of domestic ruminants. Many vaccination campaigns were first carried out in Europe using attenuated vaccines and, in a second period, using exclusively inactivated vaccines. This review focuses on the history of the various BTV strain incursions in France since the 2000s, describing strain characteristics, their origins, and the different routes of spread in Europe and/or in the Mediterranean Basin. The control measures implemented to address this disease are also discussed. Finally, we explain the circumstances leading to the change in the BTV status of France from BTV-free in 2000 to an enzootic status since 2018. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bluetongue virus; Europe; Mediterranean Basin; France; control measures; 20 years Bluetongue virus; Europe; Mediterranean Basin; France; control measures; 20 years

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Kundlacz, C.; Caignard, G.; Sailleau, C.; Viarouge, C.; Postic, L.; Vitour, D.; Zientara, S.; Breard, E. Bluetongue Virus in France: An Illustration of the European and Mediterranean Context since the 2000s. Viruses 2019, 11, 672.

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