Monitoring of schmallenberg virus in Spanish wild artiodactyls, 2006–2015

Ignacio García-Bocanegra, David Cano-Terriza, Gema Vidal, Rosa Rosell, Jorge Paniagua, Saúl Jiménez-Ruiz, Carlos Expósito, Antonio Rivero-Juarez, Antonio Arenas, Joan Pujols

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11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 García-Bocanegra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Schmallenberg disease is an emerging disease that affects domestic and wild ruminants in Europe. An epidemiological survey was carried out to assess exposure to Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in wild artiodactyls in Spain between 2006 and 2015. A total of 1751 sera from wild artiodactyls, including 1066 red deer, 304 fallow deer, 192 mouflon, 109 wild boar, 49 roe deer and 31 Spanish ibex were tested for antibodies against SBV by ELISA and confirmed by virus neutralization test. SBV was not detected between the 2006/2007 and the 2010/2011 hunting seasons. Overall seroprevalence (including samples collected between the 2011/2012 and 2014/2015 hunting seasons) was 14.6% (160/1099; 95%CI: 12.7–16.6). Mean SBV seroprevalence was 13.3±2.6% in red deer, 23.9±4.2% in fallow deer, 16.4 ±6.1% in mouflon and 2.8±3.1% in wild boar. No antibodies against SBV were found in roe deer or Spanish ibex. The presence of SBV RNA was confirmed in three of 255 (1.2%) spleen samples from wild ruminants analysed by rRT-PCR. In a multivariate mixed-effects logistic regression model, the main risk factors associated with SBV seroprevalence were: species (fallow deer, red deer and mouflon), age (adults) and interactions between hunting areas of more than 1000 hectares and hunting season (2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/ 2015). The hypothesis of endemic circulation of SBV in the last few years is supported by the detection of SBV RNA in animals sampled in 2011 and 2015, as well as antibodies detected at low level in juveniles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The results indicate that SBV circulated in wild ruminant populations in Spain during the same period when the virus was first reported in northern Europe, and at least five months before the first case was officially reported in livestock in Spain.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0182212
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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