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Rapid Spread of Schmallenberg Virus-infected Biting Midges (Culicoides spp.) across Denmark in 2012



Detection of Schmallenberg virus RNA, using real-time RT-PCR, in biting midges (Culicoides spp.) caught at 48 locations in 2011 and four well-separated farms during 2012 in Denmark, revealed a remarkably rapid spread of virus-infected midges across the country. During 2012, some 213 pools of obsoletus group midges (10 specimens per pool) were examined, and of these, 35 of the 174 parous pools were Schmallenberg virus RNA positive and 11 of them were positive in the heads. Culicoides species-specific PCRs identified both C. obsoletus and C. dewulfi as vectors of Schmallenberg virus.