Schmallenberg virus
Circulation of a previously unknown virus has been reported from
November 2011 to January 2012 in ruminants (cattle, sheep and
goats) in DE, NL, BE, FR and the UK.
The virus is part of the Simbu serogroup of the Bunyaviridae
family, genus Orthobunyavirus.
Viruses of this Simbu serogroup have never been previously
isolated in Europe (mostly found in ruminants in Asia, Australia,
Africa and the Middle East.
Simbu serogroup viruses are mainly transmitted by
mosquitoes (Culicidae) or midges (Culicoides)
No direct transmission from animal to animal demonstrated
except trans-placental transmission from a viremic dam to
the fetus
Clinical signs
• Transient non-specific clinical signs of disease in adult cattle
(observed in summer and early autumn 2011):
- Increased body temperatures (>40°C)
- Diarrhoea
- Impaired general condition
- Anorexia
- Reduced milk yield (by up to 50%)
• Congenital defects in new born, mainly lambs (observed in
winter 2011-2012)
There is no evidence that the Schmallenberg virus could
cause illness in humans (ECDC report December 2012).
EU surveillance
& control
Several EU MS have spontaneously implemented a suspicionreporting procedure for abortions, stillbirths or congenital
malformations in ruminants.
The affected EU MS have notified the OIE the occurrence of the SV
in their territory, under the notification procedure for emerging
diseases (SV is not subject to international notification or standards
on trade established by the OIE)
The data available suggest that the SV infection does not deserve a
different approach from diseases like Akabane.
SV can currently be detected through RT-PCR testing (no
serological test has been developed for large-scale testing, so far).
No vaccines are currently available.
EFSA, ECDC and several laboratories and experts of the EU MS are
currently engaged in studies and investigations on this infection.
EU surveillance
& control
EU SV Outbreaks – information to the OIE
29 SV outbreaks in sheep in France (last update: 31st January)
87 SV outbreaks in sheep and goats in the Netherlands (last
update: 31st January).
125 SV outbreaks in cattle, sheep and goats in Germany (last
update: 3 February).
11 SV outbreaks in sheep in the UK (last update: 3rd February).
15 SV outbreak in cattle in Belgium (last update: 24 January).
The EU does not apply any trade restrictions in relation to the
SV as well as any other Orthobunyavirus on live animals, their meat,
milk or animal by-products, as the EU does not consider that these
goods pose a risk of transmission of these viruses.
Different Third Countries imposed a temporary ban on live
ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats), and their semen and embryos
from the affected EU MS (Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, Egypt) and other
TC are planning to impose restriction measures (US, Kazakhstan and
Based on the available data, the EU considers that restrictive
measures against EU exports of ruminants and their products are
not justified.
UECBV is in close and daily contact with
UECBV members in the concern countries and
with DG TRADE and SANCO in order to
facilitate the information flow between the EU
and the industry/livestock sector and to avoid
additional restriction measures to trade
Thank you very much for your attention!
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