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Schmallenberg Virus in Culicoides Biting Midges in the Netherlands in 2012

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Summary

A total of 130 pools of Culicoides biting midges collected between May and September 2012 in the Netherlands were assayed for Schmallenberg virus (SBV). The Culicoides midges were caught in the same area as where in 2011 a high proportion of Culicoides pools tested positive for SBV, in majority with a high viral load (Ct values between 20 and 30). Two of a total of 42 pools comprising 50 midges/pool of the Obsoletus complex from the 2012 collection tested weak positive (Ct values: 34.96 and 37.66), indicating a relatively low viral load. On an individual midge level, the proportion of SBV-infected Culicoides of the Obsoletus complex caught in the same area and in a comparable period of the year was significantly lower in 2012 (0.1% = 1 per 1050 tested) compared with 2011 (0.56% = 13 per 2300 tested).

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