The seasonal incidence of bluetongue virus (BTV) in Central Sudan is related primarily to fluctuations in the prevalence of the vector, Culicoides imicola. Population densities of this midge begin to rise with the onset of precipitation and peak during October, before falling sharply at the end of the rainy season in November. These are also the months of BTV transmission. Populations of C. schultzei, the commonest midge in Central Sudan, are also related to the rainy season but this species does not seem to be involved with BTV transmission. BTV serotype 2 was isolated from C. imicola confirming the status of this midge as a known vector but a second isolate of the same serotype was made from a mixed pool of Culicoides not including C. imicola. This suggests that BTV transmission in the Sudan may involve more than one species of Culicoides. Epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) serotype 4 and a palyam virus were isolated from C. schultzei which indicates that this species may be involved in the transmission of BT-related viruses. Seven further virus isolates from sentinel calves at Shambat (Khartoum) confirmed the presence of BTV serotypes 1, 4 and 16, and an untyped EHDV (designated 318) in the Sudan. All of the viruses isolated and identified during the course of this work are recorded from the Sudan for the first time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases