Email from Ruth Watkins received 22nd October 2008
The finding of a different virus to BTV8 and BTV1 in the Netherlands is very intriguing. It may be quite complex for them to sort out just what it is, they will have to sequence all the 10 genes I should think. This should not take very long.
Could it be
- a BTV serotype (wild or vaccine) or
- EHD serotype,
- or a reassortment virus (wild and wild or wild and vaccine)
- or a genetic recombinant (genetic recombination of any of the 10 genes between wild and wild or wild and vaccine)
- or a variant of BTV8- either an escape mutant or a divergent strain given the virus has infected millions of animals in N Europe in the last 3 years.
How did it get there? For a second time? Where did it come from? Africa, the Middle East, India or the Lab?
Next spring in Europe and in Wales we might have to use a trivalent vaccine. Perhaps the monovalent BTV8 will be old hat unless it is supplemented with an BTV1 and BTV / EHD mystery virus.
The Intervet vaccine the Welsh government is selling - at least the 20 ml bottles - becomes out of date in February 2009. This is a very short shelf life for a killed vaccine and reflects I think the Welsh Assembly's buying up of unused, ordered-earlier English-vaccine.
I hope there will be some vaccine in date in March April next year to purchase so I can boost my animals immunity to cover the Summer Autumn of 2009.
If the vaccine had a longer shelf life perhaps the Welsh Assembly would not worry as I am sure that many if not most farmers will vaccinate in 2009 particularly in the Spring. Some locals have said as much to me.