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Single immunization with an inactivated vaccine protects sheep from Schmallenberg virus infection

Silke Hechinger, Kerstin Wernike and Martin Beer*

Author Affiliations

Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), Suedufer 10, Greifswald–Insel Riems, 17493, Germany

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Veterinary Research 2014, 45:79  doi:10.1186/s13567-014-0079-6

Published: 3 August 2014


The arthropod-borne Schmallenberg virus (SBV), family Orthobunyaviridae, emerged in Europe in 2011. SBV is associated with a mild disease in adult ruminants but fetal malformation after an infection during a critical phase of pregnancy. A number of inactivated vaccines have been developed; their efficacy after two injections was demonstrated. To make the vaccination of sheep more efficient and economic the effect of a single immunization with one of these vaccines was investigated in the present study. Five vaccinated sheep and five additional control sheep were inoculated with SBV three weeks after vaccination and the results of a competitive ELISA, a standard microneutralization test and an SBV-specific real-time RT-PCR confirmed vaccine efficacy by demonstrating complete inhibition of viral replication in immunized animals.