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Establishment of an early warning system against Bluetongue virus in Switzerland



Establishment of an early warning system against Bluetongue virus in Switzerland



Schweizer Archiv fuer Tierheilkunde 148(11): 593-598



Bluetongue (BT) is a vector-borne animal disease of economical importance due to the international trade restrictions likely to be put into place in a country once the infection is discovered. The presence of BT and its vectors in countries adjacent to Switzerland stresses the need of implementing a surveillance system and to raise disease awareness among potential stakeholders. A national survey in Switzerland 2003 indicated freedom of Bluetongue virus (BTV), although a single individual of the main BT vector Culicoides imicola was caught in the canton of Ticino. The survey also demonstrated that potential BT vectors, C. obsoletus and C. pulicaris are locally abundant in Switzerland. Therefore, a new surveillance method based on sentinel herds in high risk areas was implemented in 2004 for the early detection of both an incursion of BT vectors into Switzerland, and potential virus circulation among cattle.

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