Student - September 6, 2007

CIDC finds bluetongue in goats

The Central Institute for Animal Disease Control Lelystad has confirmed a case of bluetongue infection in goats. It is the first time since the outbreak of serotype 8 bluetongue (BTV-8) in Northern Europe that the disease has been found in goats. Other ruminants are susceptible to this sheep disease, but do not usually show symptoms.

The infection has been confirmed on a goat farm in Someren, Brabant. The milk producing goats had clear symptoms, starting with lower milk production. ‘Until now we did not know for sure whether goats get clinical symptoms when infected by a midge carrying the virus,’ said Dr Piet van Rijn of CIDC-Lelystad.

An experiment in which goats and sheep were deliberately injected with the BTV-8 virus showed that goats could develop symptoms of infection. The research was done by Anoek Backx and will be published in Veterinary Record.

In February 2007, CIDC-Lelystad had already shown the presence of BTV-8 antibodies in a goat, but the animal did not display clinical symptoms and no traces of the virus were found.

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