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American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2015, 3(5), 95-102
DOI: 10.12691/ajeid-3-5-2
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The Epidemiology of Bluetongue Virus in Mnisi, South Africa

Steyn J.1, , Venter G.J.2, Coetzee P.1 and Venter E. H.1

1Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, Pretoria, South Africa

2Parasites, Vectors and Vector-Borne Diseases, Agricultural Research Council-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (ARC-OVI), Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort, South Africa

Pub. Date: November 20, 2015

Cite this paper:
Steyn J., Venter G.J., Coetzee P. and Venter E. H.. The Epidemiology of Bluetongue Virus in Mnisi, South Africa. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2015; 3(5):95-102. doi: 10.12691/ajeid-3-5-2


The role of cattle in the epidemiology of bluetongue (BT) as well as the distribution of different vector species throughout South Africa is not well understood. Mnisi, a rural area located in Mpumalanga, South Africa, was selected for an epidemiological study. The prevalence of Culicoides species associated with this area as well as whether bluetongue virus (BTV) is circulating in the area is unclear. Sera were collected from 1 260 cattle and screened with a BTV-specific cELISA. Light traps operated during autumn and winter periods. Midges were identified to species level, pooled (n = 200) and screened for BTV RNA with a real-time RT-qPCR. Blood samples from seronegative cattle were also screened for BTV RNA. Antibodies specific to BTV were detected in 95.7% of the sera with a statistical significant difference (p < 0.05) between age groups and villages. Twenty-five different Culicoides species were identified of which C. imicola was the most abundant. Bluetongue virus RNA was detected in 51.2% (autumn) and 75.9% (winter) of the midges collected. A total of 35.5% seronegative cattle tested positive for the presence of BTV RNA. These results demonstrate that BTV as well as different vectors are circulating in the Mnisi area.

bluetongue virus Culicoides cattle cELISA epidemiology real-time RT-qPCR segment 10

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