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First report of Schmallenberg Virus Infection in Cattle and Midges in Poland



M. Larska. Department of Virology, National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Al. Partyzantów 57, 24-100 Puławy, Poland. Tel.: +48818893068; Fax: +48818862595; E-mail:


Two outbreaks of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) infection that coincided with the introduction of two bulls imported from France into two herds located in West Pomerania and Silesia provinces in Poland are described in detail. The first SBV real-time RT-PCR-positive result was obtained during routine testing of one of the imported bulls. The second bull and the affected farms were tracked by further investigation. Transmission of SBV into Polish cattle herds where the bulls were imported was confirmed by viral RNA detection in real-time RT-PCR, virus isolation followed by immunoperoxidase (IPX) staining and seroconversion. SBV RNA was detected also in Culicoides obsoletus pools caught in a trap located 5 km from one of the outbreaks. Testing nearly 900 samples collected prior to the two outbreaks from the same areas or provinces neighbouring with Germany where SBV cases had previously been detected gave negative results for the presence of SBV or specific antibodies. These cases are the first ones detected in cattle in Poland and provide evidence of recent transmission of the pathogen into the country and involvement of midge vectors.