Schmallenberg virus to blame for malformations


<p>A record number of samples were generated during testing for the Schmallenberg virus, in a year-long investigation by Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira. A total of 763 samples, 68 percent from cattle, 30 from sheep and 2 from goat farms, were sent for pathological investigation. According to the preliminary results, the Schmallenberg virus was the only one linked to malformations. Its presence was confirmed on 30 farms.</p>

Majority of the calves and lambs in which the virus was confirmed bore malformations typical of those caused by the virus. The virus was first identified in malformed lambs, born at the end of December 2012, and in malformed calves born at the beginning of February 2013. Final results for the analysis of all research material will be obtained at the end of 2013.

Project prompted by need for knowledge of new disease

In April 2012, Evira began a project investigating the infectious causes of premature births of, and malformations in, the offspring of cattle, sheep and goats. The purpose of this newly completed project was to gather information on the Schmallenberg virus's possible arrival in Finland during 2012. In addition, the material was used to investigate other factors in abortions among cattle, sheep and goats. Evira's acquisition of comprehensive sample material for examination was enabled by the active participation of vets and owners.

Foetal examinations again subject to a charge from 1.6.2013

Due to the completion of the project, foetal examinations will again be subject to a charge.

A foetal examination undertaken to identify the reason for an abortion will cost EUR 85.51 (incl VAT).

Testing of antibodies, in the mother, to brucellosis, bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) will be free of charge.

As a package, analysis of the cause of abortion based on blood samples from the mother (5–10 blood samples) will cost EUR 111.82 and cover antibodies to Brucella, BVD, IBR, Q fever, Chlamydophila and Neospora (Brucella, BVD and IBR free of charge).

An antibody test for a single pathogen, based on 3–5 blood samples, will cost EUR 65.78.

Price list for animal disease examinations (in Finnish)

Sample packaging instructions (in Finnish)

For further information, please contact:
Production Animal and Wildlife Health Research Unit:
Paula Syrjälä, Senior Researcher, tel. +358 (0)44 720 1470, paula.syrjala at-merkki-kapea.gif : 0 kB
Johanna Mattila, Researcher, tel. +358 (0)50 386 7150, johanna.mattila at-merkki-kapea.gif : 0 kB
Veterinary Virology Research Unit:
Ulla Rikula, Senior Researcher, tel. +358 (0)50 563 2052, ulla.rikula at-merkki-kapea.gif : 0 kB
Kirsti Pekkanen, Researcher, tel. +358 (0)50 570 2916, kirsti.pekkanen at-merkki-kapea.gif : 0 kB

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