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See detailAddressing personal protective equipment (PPE) decontamination : methylene blue and light inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on N95 respirators and medical masks with maintenance of integrity and fit
Lendvay, Thomas Sean; Chen, J.; Harcourt, B.H. et al

in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (2021)

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See detailSemi-quantitative risk assessment by expert elicitation of potential introduction routes of African swine fever from wild reservoir to domestic pig industry and subsequent spread during the Belgian outbreak (2018-2019).
Mauroy, Axel; Depoorter, Pieter; Saegerman, Claude ULiege et al

in Transboundary and emerging diseases (2021)

Since the introduction in Georgia in 2007 of an African swine fever (ASF) genotype 2 virus strain, the virus has rapidly spread to both Western European and Asian countries. It now constitutes a major ... [more ▼]

Since the introduction in Georgia in 2007 of an African swine fever (ASF) genotype 2 virus strain, the virus has rapidly spread to both Western European and Asian countries. It now constitutes a major threat for the global swine industry. The ongoing European transmission cycle has been related to the 'wild boar habitat' with closed transmission events between wild boar populations and incidental spillovers to commercial and non-commercial (backyard) pig holdings. During the epidemic in Belgium, only wild boar were infected and although the introduction route has not yet been elucidated, the 'human factor' is highly suspected. While ASF was successfully contained in a small region in the Southern part of Belgium without affecting domestic pigs, the risk of spillover at the wild/domestic interface remains poorly assessed. In this study, we used a semi-quantitative method, involving national and international experts, to assess the risk associated with different transmission routes for ASF introduction from wild boar to domestic pig holdings and subsequent dissemination between holdings in the Belgian epidemiological context. Qualitative responses obtained by our questionnaire were numerically transformed and statistically processed to provide a semi-quantitative assessment of the occurrence of the hazard and a ranking of all transmission routes. 'Farmer', 'bedding material', 'veterinarian' and 'professionals from the pig sector' were considered as the most important transmission routes for ASF introduction from the wild reservoir to pig holdings. 'Animal movements', 'farmer', 'veterinarian', 'iatrogenic', 'animal transport truck' and 'animal care equipment' were considered as the most important transmission routes posing a risk of ASF spread between pig holdings. Combined with specific biosecurity checks in the holdings, this assessment helps in prioritizing risk mitigation measures against ASF introduction and further spread in the domestic pig industry, particularly while the ASF situation in Western Europe is worsening. [less ▲]

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See detailRisk assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in free-ranging wild animals in Belgium.
Logeot, Myriam; Mauroy, Axel; Thiry, Etienne ULiege et al

in Transboundary and emerging diseases (2021)

The aim of this review paper is to evaluate the putative susceptibilities of different free-ranging wild animal species in Belgium to SARS-CoV-2 and provide a risk assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in ... [more ▼]

The aim of this review paper is to evaluate the putative susceptibilities of different free-ranging wild animal species in Belgium to SARS-CoV-2 and provide a risk assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in those animals. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, natural SARS-CoV-2 infections have mainly been confirmed in domestic and production animals, and in wild animals kept in captivity, although the numbers remain limited when compared to human cases. Recently, the first SARS-CoV-2 infections in presumably escaped minks found in the wild have been detected, further addressing the much-feared scenario of transmission of the virus to animals living in the wild and its consequences. Considering the most likely origin of the virus being a wild animal and the putative susceptibilities of free-ranging wild animal species to SARS-CoV-2, the risk of infection with possible establishment of the virus in these populations has to be investigated closely. The authors conclude that most attention should be given to surveillance and awareness raising activities for SARS-CoV-2 infection in wild mustelids, bats, wild canids and felids, particularly these collected in wildlife rescue centres. People involved in frequent and close contact with wild animals should take all necessary precautionary measures to protect wild animals against exposure to the virus. One year after the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, the time has come to increase investments in research and surveillance activities in animals, including in free-ranging wild animals, as part of a One Health control of this pandemic. This study focusing on Belgium could be helpful for other countries with similar animal densities and ecosystems. [less ▲]

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See detailAnthropogenic Infection of Cats during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.
Hosie, Margaret J.; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Hartmann, Katrin et al

in Viruses (2021), 13(2),

COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by a new coronavirus (CoV), SARS-CoV-2, which is closely related to SARS-CoV that jumped the animal-human species barrier and caused a disease ... [more ▼]

COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by a new coronavirus (CoV), SARS-CoV-2, which is closely related to SARS-CoV that jumped the animal-human species barrier and caused a disease outbreak in 2003. SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus that was first described in 2019, unrelated to the commonly occurring feline coronavirus (FCoV) that is an alphacoronavirus associated with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and has spread globally within a few months, resulting in the current pandemic. Felids have been shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Particularly in the Western world, many people live in very close contact with their pet cats, and natural infections of cats in COVID-19-positive households have been described in several countries. In this review, the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), a scientifically independent board of experts in feline medicine from 11 European Countries, discusses the current status of SARS-CoV infections in cats. The review examines the host range of SARS-CoV-2 and human-to-animal transmissions, including infections in domestic and non-domestic felids, as well as mink-to-human/-cat transmission. It summarises current data on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in domestic cats and the results of experimental infections of cats and provides expert opinions on the clinical relevance and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimisation of a PMAxx™-RT-qPCR Assay and the Preceding Extraction Method to Selectively Detect Infectious Murine Norovirus Particles in Mussels.
Razafimahefa, Ravo Michèle ULiege; Ludwig-Begall, Louisa ULiege; Le Guyader, Françoise S. et al

in Food and environmental virology (2021), 13(1), 93-106

Human noroviruses are a major cause for gastroenteritis outbreaks. Filter-feeding bivalve molluscs, which accumulate noroviruses in their digestive tissues, are a typical vector for human infection. RT ... [more ▼]

Human noroviruses are a major cause for gastroenteritis outbreaks. Filter-feeding bivalve molluscs, which accumulate noroviruses in their digestive tissues, are a typical vector for human infection. RT-qPCR, the established method for human norovirus detection in food, does not allow discrimination between infectious and non-infectious viruses and can overestimate potentially infectious viral loads. To develop a more accurate method of infectious norovirus load estimation, we combined intercalating agent propidium monoazide (PMAxx™)-pre-treatment with RT-qPCR assay using in vitro-cultivable murine norovirus. Three primer sets targeting different genome regions and diverse amplicon sizes were used to compare one-step amplification of a short genome fragment to three two-step long-range RT-qPCRs (7 kbp, 3.6 kbp and 2.3 kbp amplicons). Following initial assays performed on untreated infectious, heat-, or ultraviolet-inactivated murine noroviruses in PBS suspension, PMAxx™ RT-qPCRs were implemented to detect murine noroviruses subsequent to their extraction from mussel digestive tissues; virus extraction via anionic polymer-coated magnetic beads was compared with the proteinase K-dependent ISO norm. The long-range RT-qPCR process detecting fragments of more than 2.3 kbp allowed accurate estimation of the infectivity of UV-damaged murine noroviruses. While proteinase K extraction limited later estimation of PMAxx™ pre-treatment effects and was found to be unsuited to the assay, magnetic bead-captured murine noroviruses retained their infectivity. Genome copies of heat-inactivated murine noroviruses differed by 2.3 log(10) between RT-qPCR and PMAxx™-RT-qPCR analysis in bivalve molluscs, the PMAxx™ pre-treatment allowing a closer approximation of infectious titres. The combination of bead-based virus extraction and PMAxx™ RT-qPCR thus provides a more accurate model for the estimation of noroviral bivalve mollusc contamination than the conjunction of proteinase K extraction and RT-qPCR and has the potential (once validated utilising infectious human norovirus) to provide an added measure of security to food safety authorities in the hazard assessment of potential bivalve mollusc contamination. [less ▲]

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See detailReplicative fitness recuperation of a recombinant murine norovirus – in vitro reciprocity of genetic shift and drift
Ludwig-Begall, Louisa ULiege; Lu, Jia; Hosmillo, Myra et al

in Journal of General Virology (2020), 101

Noroviruses are recognized as the major cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Molecular mechanisms driving norovirus evolution are the accumulation of point mutations and recombination ... [more ▼]

Noroviruses are recognized as the major cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Molecular mechanisms driving norovirus evolution are the accumulation of point mutations and recombination. Recombination can create considerable changes in a viral genome, potentially eliciting a fitness cost, which must be compensated via the adaptive capacity of a recombinant virus. We previously described replicative fitness reduction of the first in vitro generated WU20-CW1 recombinant murine norovirus, RecMNV. In this follow-up study, RecMNV’s capability of replicative fitness recuperation and genetic characteristics of RecMNV progenies at early and late stages of an adaptation experiment were evaluated. Replicative fitness regain of the recombinant was demonstrated via growth kinetics and plaque size differences between viral progenies prior to and post serial in vitro passaging. Point mutations at consensus and sub-consensus population levels of early and late viral progenies were characterized via next-generation sequencing and putatively associated to fitness changes. To investigate the effect of genomic changes separately and in combination in the context of a lab-generated inter-MNV infectious virus, mutations were introduced into a recombinant WU20-CW1 cDNA for subsequent DNA-based reverse genetics recovery. We thus associated fitness loss of RecMNV to a C7245T mutation and functional VP2 (ORF3) truncation and demonstrated individual and cumulative compensatory effects of one synonymous OFR2 and two non-synonymous ORF1 consensus-level mutations acquired during successive rounds of in vitro replication. Our data provide evidence of viral adaptation in a controlled environment via genetic drift after genetic shift induced a fitness cost of an infectious recombinant norovirus. [less ▲]

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See detailDirofilarioses in cats: European guidelines from the ABCD on prevention and management.
Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Tasker, Séverine; Hartmann, Katrin et al

in Journal of feline medicine and surgery (2020), 22(5), 442-451

OVERVIEW: Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens are the most important filarial worms, causing heartworm disease and subcutaneous dirofilariosis, respectively. D repens is currently considered an ... [more ▼]

OVERVIEW: Dirofilaria immitis and Dirofilaria repens are the most important filarial worms, causing heartworm disease and subcutaneous dirofilariosis, respectively. D repens is currently considered an emerging zoonotic agent in Europe. LIFE CYCLE AND INFECTION: Filarial worms infect mainly dogs, but also cats, ferrets, wild carnivores and humans. The life cycle involves an intermediate mosquito host. Compared with dogs, cats are imperfect hosts for dirofilarial worms. After inoculation, only a low number of L3 larvae develop to the adult stage in a small percentage of cats. Heartworm disease in cats may be associated with severe pulmonary thromboembolism and an eosinophilic inflammatory response in the lungs, potentially leading to sudden death. Otherwise self-cure occurs in most cases after 18-48 months. Subcutaneous dirofilariosis may present as subcutaneous nodules or dermatitis. DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: Diagnosis in cats is more difficult compared with dogs and needs a multistep approach (antigen and antibody tests, as well as diagnostic imaging). Cats with acute heartworm disease require stabilisation within an intensive care unit. Cats with respiratory signs or suggestive radiographic changes should receive prednisolone and follow-up with a similar multistep approach. Adulticidal therapy is not safe in cats. PREVENTION: In endemic areas cats should receive year-round chemoprophylaxis from 2 months of age. [less ▲]

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See detailAetiology of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex and Prevalence of its Pathogens in Europe.
Day, M. J.; Carey, S.; Clercx, Cécile ULiege et al

in Journal of comparative pathology (2020), 176

The canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) is an endemic worldwide syndrome involving multiple viral and bacterial pathogens. Traditionally, Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb), canine ... [more ▼]

The canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC) is an endemic worldwide syndrome involving multiple viral and bacterial pathogens. Traditionally, Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb), canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2), canine distemper virus (CDV), canine herpesvirus (CHV) and canine parainfluenza virus (CPiV) were considered the major causative agents. Lately, new pathogens have been implicated in the development of CIRDC, namely canine influenza virus (CIV), canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV), canine pneumovirus (CnPnV), Mycoplasma cynos and Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus. To better understand the role of the different pathogens in the development of CIRDC and their epidemiological relevance in Europe, prevalence data were collected from peer-reviewed publications and summarized. Evidence of exposure to Bb is frequently found in healthy and diseased dogs and client-owned dogs are as likely to be infected as kennelled dogs. Co-infections with viral pathogens are common. The findings confirm that Bb is an important cause of CIRDC in Europe. CAV-2 and CDV recovery rates from healthy and diseased dogs are low and the most likely explanation for this is control through vaccination. Seroconversion to CHV can be demonstrated following CIRDC outbreaks and CHV has been detected in the lower respiratory tract of diseased dogs. There is some evidence that CHV is not a primary cause of CIRDC, but opportunistically re-activates at the time of infection and exacerbates the disease. The currently available data suggest that CIV is, at present, neither a prevalent nor a significant pathogen in Europe. CPiV remains an important pathogen in CIRDC and facilitates co-infection with other viral and bacterial pathogens. CnPnV and CRCoV are important new elements in the aetiology of CIRDC and spread particularly well in multi-dog establishments. M. cynos is common in Europe and is more likely to occur in younger and kennelled dogs. This organism is frequently found together with other CIRDC pathogens and is significantly associated with more severe respiratory signs. S. zooepidemicus infection is not common and appears to be a particular problem in kennels. Protective immunity against respiratory diseases is rarely complete, and generally only a reduction in clinical signs and excretion of pathogen can be achieved through vaccination. However, even vaccines that only reduce and do not prevent infection carry epidemiological advantages. They reduce spread, increase herd immunity and decrease usage of antimicrobials. Recommending vaccination of dogs against pathogens of CIRDC will directly provide epidemiological advantages to the population and the individual dog. [less ▲]

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See detailTopical Ganciclovir Reduces Viral Excretion in Mares With Equine Coital Exanthema
Vissani, M. A.; Perglione, C. O.; Zabal, O. et al

in Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (2020), 94

Equid alphaherpesvirus 3 (EHV-3) is the etiological agent of equine coital exanthema (ECE). Because no vaccines or antiviral therapies are available, prevention consists of clinical examination of mares ... [more ▼]

Equid alphaherpesvirus 3 (EHV-3) is the etiological agent of equine coital exanthema (ECE). Because no vaccines or antiviral therapies are available, prevention consists of clinical examination of mares and stallions before mating or semen collection and resting from breeding activities when lesions are present. However, this methodology does not identify subclinically infected animals. Ganciclovir is the most potent compound known to reduce EHV-3 replication. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of topical ganciclovir application to reduce EHV-3 replication in experimentally infected mares. A pilot study, after a double-blind completely randomized design, was carried out. Twenty mares were randomly divided into five groups (three treated with ganciclovir with different regimen of doses, one treated with a placebo, and one nontreated). Mares were experimentally infected with EHV-3 on day 0. Rectal temperature, clinical signs, and lesions were recorded. Daily perineal and vaginal swabs were evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction for virus detection. The antibody response was assessed by a virus neutralization test in serum samples collected weekly. Mares experimentally infected with EHV-3 and treated with ganciclovir twice a day for 13 days showed reduced levels and duration of viral excretion and less severe lesions. The viral excretion period was reduced from 18 to nine days compared with the untreated groups. We concluded that ganciclovir had an antiviral effect on EHV-3 replication when topically administered in mares showing clinical signs of ECE. Further trials should be performed to optimize the dose of the antiviral for a definitive formulation. © 2020 [less ▲]

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See detailCockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh - The role of bivalve molluscs as transmission vehicles for human norovirus infections
Razafimahefa, Ravo Michèle ULiege; Ludwig, Louisa ULiege; Thiry, Etienne ULiege

in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (2019)

Human noroviruses are recognised as the leading worldwide cause of sporadic and epidemic viral gastroenteritis, causing morbidity and mortality in impoverished developing countries and engendering ... [more ▼]

Human noroviruses are recognised as the leading worldwide cause of sporadic and epidemic viral gastroenteritis, causing morbidity and mortality in impoverished developing countries and engendering enormous economic losses in developed countries. Transmitted faecal-orally, either via person-to-person contact, or by consumption of contaminated foods or water, norovirus outbreaks are often reported in institutional settings or in the context of communal dining. Bivalve molluscs, which accumulate noroviruses via filter feeding and are often eaten raw or insufficiently cooked, are a common food vehicle implicated in gastroenteritis outbreaks. The involvement of bivalve molluscs in norovirus outbreaks and epidemiology over the past two decades are reviewed. The authors describe how their physiology of filter feeding can render them concentrated vehicles of norovirus contamination in polluted environments and how high viral loads persist in molluscs even after application of depuration practices and typical food preparation steps. The global prevalence of noroviruses in bivalve molluscs as detected by different monitoring efforts is determined and the various methods currently utilised for norovirus extraction and detection from bivalve matrices described. An overview of gastroenteritis outbreaks affirmatively associated with norovirus-contaminated bivalve molluscs as reported in the past 18 years is also provided. Strategies for risk reduction of shellfish contamination and subsequent human infection are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailÉpidémie nosocomiale à norovirus : à propos d'une expérience hospitalière
HUYNEN, Pascale ULiege; MAUROY, Axel; LAMBERT, Nathalie et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2019), 74(2), 86-89

Human noroviruses (NoV) are the main pathogenic agents worldwide responsible for viral sporadic and epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide. A gastroenteritis outbreak broke out in patients hospitalized in ... [more ▼]

Human noroviruses (NoV) are the main pathogenic agents worldwide responsible for viral sporadic and epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide. A gastroenteritis outbreak broke out in patients hospitalized in several wards located in two different floors of a hospital in Liege, Belgium. The objective was to determine whether a same NoV strain would be involved in the two different floors, and to explore how this outbreak would have spread from a floor to the other. Stool samples from patients and healthcare workers were collected, as well as data from medical files. NoV detection, quantification and characterization were performed using molecular biology methods. A same NoV strain, from genotype GII.4, was detected in two patients hospitalized on the two different floors. This finding allowed to conclude that a same outbreak spread in the two floors, probably due to movements of common healthcare workers. A rapid NoV detection during outbreak is important in the aim to rapidly implement hygiene measures to limit the size of the outbreak. [less ▲]

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See detailLes norovirus, ces entéro-pathogènes épidémiques mondiaux méconnus
Huynen, Pascale ULiege; Mauroy, A.; Melin, Pierrette ULiege et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2019), 74(1), 41-46

Discovered in the 1970s, human noroviruses (NoV) are the leading cause of foodborne disease and gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. NoV affect people of all ages. In children less than 5 years old ... [more ▼]

Discovered in the 1970s, human noroviruses (NoV) are the leading cause of foodborne disease and gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. NoV affect people of all ages. In children less than 5 years old, despite rotavirus remains the main enteropathogen responsible for viral gastroenteritis, NoV become the first etiological virus in countries where the rotavirus vaccine was introduced. Treatment of viral gastroenteritis is symptomatic.The key element in front of NoV infection is limiting their transmission. A rapid NoV detection during outbreak is important in the aim to rapidly implement hygiene measures to limit the size of the outbreak. Prevention of NoV infections relies on the use of adequate hand hygiene measures and disinfection of contaminated environmental surfaces. In face of an acute gastroenteritis outbreak, the early NoV identification with rapid laboratory tests or molecular biology methods is needed in the aim to implement as soon as possible hygiene measures to limit the size of the NoV outbreak. Due to antigenically diverse NoV strains and the lack of long term immunity, the development of an effective vaccine is difficult. © Revue Medicale de Liege. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailAfrican swine fever: Update on Eastern, Central and Southern Africa
Mulumba-Mfumu, L. K.; Saegerman, Claude ULiege; Dixon, L. K. et al

in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (2019)

Control of African swine fever (ASF) in countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) is particularly complex owing to the presence of all three known epidemiological cycles of maintenance of ... [more ▼]

Control of African swine fever (ASF) in countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) is particularly complex owing to the presence of all three known epidemiological cycles of maintenance of the virus, namely an ancient sylvatic cycle involving the natural hosts and vectors of the disease as well as domestic cycles with and without involvement of natural vectors. While the situation is well documented in some of the countries, for others very little information is available. In spite of the unfavourable ASF situation, the pig population in the sub-region has grown exponentially in recent decades and is likely to continue to grow in response to rapid urban growth resulting in increasing demand for animal protein by populations that are no longer engaged in livestock production. Better management of ASF will be essential to permit the pig sector to reach its full potential as a supplier of high quality protein and a source of income to improve livelihoods and create wealth. No vaccine is currently available and it is likely that, in the near future, the sub-region will continue to rely on the implementation of preventive measures, based on the epidemiology of the disease, to avoid both the devastating losses that outbreaks can cause and the risk the sub-region poses to other parts of Africa and the world. The current situation in the ECSA sub-region is reviewed and gaps in knowledge are identified in order to support ongoing strategy development for managing ASF in endemic areas. © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH [less ▲]

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See detailPan-European Study on the Prevalence of the Feline Leukaemia Virus Infection - Reported by the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD Europe).
Studer, Nadine; Lutz, Hans; Saegerman, Claude ULiege et al

in Viruses (2019), 11(11),

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus associated with fatal disease in progressively infected cats. While testing/removal and vaccination led to a decreased prevalence of FeLV, recently, this ... [more ▼]

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus associated with fatal disease in progressively infected cats. While testing/removal and vaccination led to a decreased prevalence of FeLV, recently, this decrease has reportedly stagnated in some countries. This study aimed to prospectively determine the prevalence of FeLV viraemia in cats taken to veterinary facilities in 32 European countries. FeLV viral RNA was semiquantitatively detected in saliva, using RT-qPCR as a measure of viraemia. Risk and protective factors were assessed using an online questionnaire to report geographic, demographic, husbandry, FeLV vaccination, and clinical data. The overall prevalence of FeLV viraemia in cats visiting a veterinary facility, of which 10.4% were shelter and rescue cats, was 2.3% (141/6005; 95% CI: 2.0%-2.8%) with the highest prevalences in Portugal, Hungary, and Italy/Malta (5.7%-8.8%). Using multivariate analysis, seven risk factors (Southern Europe, male intact, 1-6 years of age, indoor and outdoor or outdoor-only living, living in a group of >/=5 cats, illness), and three protective factors (Northern Europe, Western Europe, pedigree cats) were identified. Using classification and regression tree (CART) analysis, the origin of cats in Europe, pedigree, and access to outdoors were important predictors of FeLV status. FeLV-infected sick cats shed more viral RNA than FeLV-infected healthy cats, and they suffered more frequently from anaemia, anorexia, and gingivitis/stomatitis than uninfected sick cats. Most cats had never been FeLV-vaccinated; vaccination rates were indirectly associated with the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. In conclusion, we identified countries where FeLV was undetectable, demonstrating that the infection can be eradicated and highlighting those regions where awareness and prevention should be increased. [less ▲]

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See detailReliable and Standardized Animal Models to Study the Pathogenesis of Bluetongue and Schmallenberg Viruses in Ruminant Natural Host Species with Special Emphasis on Placental Crossing.
Martinelle, Ludovic ULiege; Dal Pozzo, Fabiana ULiege; Thiry, Etienne ULiege et al

in Viruses (2019), 11(8),

Starting in 2006, bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV8) was responsible for a major epizootic in Western and Northern Europe. The magnitude and spread of the disease were surprisingly high and the control of ... [more ▼]

Starting in 2006, bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV8) was responsible for a major epizootic in Western and Northern Europe. The magnitude and spread of the disease were surprisingly high and the control of BTV improved significantly with the marketing of BTV8 inactivated vaccines in 2008. During late summer of 2011, a first cluster of reduced milk yield, fever, and diarrhoea was reported in the Netherlands. Congenital malformations appeared in March 2012 and Schmallenberg virus (SBV) was identified, becoming one of the very few orthobunyaviruses distributed in Europe. At the start of both epizootics, little was known about the pathogenesis and epidemiology of these viruses in the European context and most assumptions were extrapolated based on other related viruses and/or other regions of the World. Standardized and repeatable models potentially mimicking clinical signs observed in the field are required to study the pathogenesis of these infections, and to clarify their ability to cross the placental barrier. This review presents some of the latest experimental designs for infectious disease challenges with BTV or SBV. Infectious doses, routes of infection, inoculum preparation, and origin are discussed. Particular emphasis is given to the placental crossing associated with these two viruses. [less ▲]

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See detailRift Valley fever: An open-source transmission dynamics simulation model
Sumaye, R.; Jansen, F.; Berkvens, D. et al

in PLoS ONE (2019), 14(1),

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is one of the major viral zoonoses in Africa, affecting humans and several domestic animal species. The epidemics in eastern Africa occur in a 5-15 year cycle coinciding with ... [more ▼]

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is one of the major viral zoonoses in Africa, affecting humans and several domestic animal species. The epidemics in eastern Africa occur in a 5-15 year cycle coinciding with abnormally high rainfall generally associated to the warm phase of the El Niño event. However, recently, evidence has been gathered of inter-epidemic transmission. An open-source, easily applicable, accessible and modifiable model was built to simulate the transmission dynamics of RVF. The model was calibrated using data collected in the Kilombero Valley in Tanzania with people and cattle as host species and Ædes mcintoshi, Æ. ægypti and two Culex species as vectors. Simulations were run over a period of 27 years using standard parameter values derived from two previous studies in this region. Our model predicts low-level transmission of RVF, which is in line with epidemiological studies in this area. Emphasis in our simulation was put on both the dynamics and composition of vector populations in three ecological zones, in order to elucidate the respective roles played by different vector species: the model output did indicate the necessity of Culex involvement and also indicated that vertical transmission in Ædes mcintoshi may be underestimated. This model, being built with open-source software and with an easy-to-use interface, can be adapted by researchers and control program managers to their specific needs by plugging in new parameters relevant to their situation and locality. © 2019 Sumaye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. [less ▲]

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