Publications by authors named "Gina Zanella"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Characterization of commercial poultry farms in Mexico: Towards a better understanding of biosecurity practices and antibiotic usage patterns.

PLoS One 2020 1;15(12):e0242354. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, ANSES, University Paris-Est, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Mexico is one of the world's major poultry producing countries. Two significant challenges currently facing the poultry industry are the responsible and judicious use of antimicrobials, and the potential occurrence of infectious disease outbreaks. For example, repeated outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H7N3 have occurred in poultry since its first detection in Mexico in 2012. Both of these challenges can be addressed through good husbandry practices and the application of on-farm biosecurity measures. The aims of this study were: (i) to assess the biosecurity measures practiced across different types of poultry farms in Mexico, and (ii) to collect information regarding antimicrobial usage. A cross-sectional study was carried out through on-farm interviews on 43 poultry farms. A multiple correspondence analysis was performed to characterize the farms based on their pattern of biosecurity practices and antimicrobial usage. Three clusters of farms were identified using an agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis. In each cluster, a specific farm type was predominant. The biosecurity measures that significantly differentiated the visited farms, thus allowing their clusterization, were: the use of personal protective equipment (e.g. face masks, hair caps, and eye protection), the requirement for a hygiene protocol before and after entering the farm, the use of exclusive working clothes by staff and visitors, footbath presence at the barn entrance, and the mortality disposal strategy. The more stringent the biosecurity measures on farms within a cluster, the fewer the farms that used antimicrobials. Farms with more biosecurity breaches used antimicrobials considered critically important for public health. These findings could be helpful to understand how to guide strategies to reinforce compliance with biosecurity practices identified as critical according to the farm type. We conclude by providing certain recommendations to improve on-farm biosecurity measures.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0242354PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7707464PMC
January 2021

Cross-sectional study on Chlamydiaceae prevalence and associated risk factors on commercial and backyard poultry farms in Mexico.

Prev Vet Med 2020 Mar 7;176:104922. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

University Paris-Est, ANSES, Laboratory for Animal Health, Epidemiology Unit, Maisons-Alfort, 94700, France. Electronic address:

Chlamydiaceae infections in poultry are mainly due to Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia gallinacea. While C. psittaci has long been known to affect birds and to have zoonotic potential, C. gallinacea is a newly described species that has been found to be widespread in chickens. As no data were available regarding the presence of Chlamydiaceae in Mexican poultry, a cross-sectional survey to detect the presence of Chlamydiaceae on commercial and backyard farms was carried out in eight federal states of Mexico with a high poultry density. Individual cloacal swabs were collected on 14 large-scale commercial poultry farms with controlled environment houses, 23 large-scale commercial poultry farms with open-sided houses, and 16 backyard farms. Samples were tested using a specific Chlamydiaceae real-time PCR technique. Chlamydial species were subsequently identified by a species-specific real-time PCR method. Information on potential risk factors was collected through a questionnaire. Logistic regression was performed to identify risk factors associated with Chlamydiaceae-positive results at the farm level on commercial farms. For backyard farms, a mixed-effect logistic regression model was used to consider information collected either at the animal or at the farm level. Overall, 7.1 % (n = 1/14) of controlled environment commercial farms, 26.1 % (n = 6/23) of open-sided commercial farms, and 75.0 % (n = 12/16) of backyard farms were Chlamydiaceae-positive. Apparent prevalence increased inversely to the level of confinement (controlled environment vs open-sided poultry houses vs backyards). Chlamydia gallinacea was the only chlamydial species detected. On commercial farms, egg-laying hen flocks had 6.7 times higher odds of being Chlamydiaceae-infected than broilers flocks (OR = 6.7, 95 % CI: 1.1-44.3, p = 0.04). On backyard farms, two variables were significantly associated with Chlamydiaceae infection: the lack of antibiotic use (OR = 8.4, 95 % CI: 1.84-38.49, p = 0.006), and an impaired health status (OR=8.8, 95 % CI: 1.9-38.9, p = 0.004). Further studies should be carried out to investigate the impact of C. gallinacea infection on egg quality and production performance in egg-laying hen flocks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.104922DOI Listing
March 2020

Clinical cases of Bluetongue serotype 8 in calves in France in the 2018-2019 winter.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 May 8;67(3):1401-1405. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, ANSES, University Paris Est, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) caused an epizootic in Europe in 2006/09. Transplacental transmission of BTV-8 was demonstrated leading to abortions, congenital malformations or nervous clinical signs in newborn calves. BTV-8 re-emerged in France in 2015. Although the re-emergent strain is nearly genetically identical to the one that had circulated in 2006/2009, it has caused very few clinical cases. However, from mid-December 2018 to April 2019, cases of calves with congenital malformations or displaying nervous clinical signs occurred in some departments (French administrative unit) in mainland France. Blood samples from these animals were sent to local laboratories, and the positive ones were confirmed at the French Bluetongue reference laboratory (BT-NRL). Out of 580 samples found positive at the local laboratories, 544 were confirmed as RT-PCR BTV-8 positive. The 36 samples found positive in the local laboratories and negative in the BT-NRL were all at the limit of RT-PCR detection. Hundred eighty-eight of the confirmed samples were also tested for the presence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) and bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) infection: 4 were found positive for BVDV and none for SBV. The main clinical signs recorded for 244 calves, for which a reporting form was completed by veterinarians, included nervous clinical signs (81%), amaurosis (72%) and decrease/ no suckling reflex (40%). Hydranencephaly and microphthalmia were reported in 19 calves out of 27 in which a necropsy was practiced after death or euthanasia. These results indicate that the re-emergent strain of BTV-8 can cross the transplacental barrier and cause congenital malformations or nervous clinical signs in calves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13466DOI Listing
May 2020

Brucella microti-like prevalence in French farms producing frogs.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 Mar 21;67(2):617-625. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, ANSES, University Paris Est, Maisons-Alfort, France.

In the last 10 years, many atypical novel members of Brucella species have been reported, including several Brucella inopinata-like strains in wild-caught and "exotic" amphibians from various continents. In 2017, a strain of Brucella was isolated for the first time in animals from a French farm producing frogs-Pelophylax ridibundus-for human consumption and identified as B. microti-like. Following this first isolation, investigations were performed in this farm as well as in the farm of the research unit that provided the domestic frog strain to estimate the prevalence of B. microti-like infection and its presence in the surrounding environment. Farming practices were investigated and samples including frogs at different development stages, surface tank swabs, water, feed and soil were analysed by real-time PCR and bacteriological methods. High B. microti-like prevalence values (higher than 90%) were obtained in frog samples in the commercial farm, and its presence was highlighted in the environmental samples except feed. In the research unit farm, B. microti-like species was also isolated and detected in frog and environmental samples. These results show that B. microti-like organisms are able to colonize amphibians and persist in their environment. Its presence could constitute a possible risk for consumers and workers proving the importance of assessing the zoonotic and pathogenic potentials of these new and atypical Brucella species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13377DOI Listing
March 2020

Red deer () Did Not Play the Role of Maintenance Host for Bluetongue Virus in France: The Burden of Proof by Long-Term Wildlife Monitoring and Snapshots.

Viruses 2019 09 27;11(10). Epub 2019 Sep 27.

UMR Virologie, INRA, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, laboratoire de santé animale d'Alfort, ANSES, Université Paris-Est, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France, (C.V.).

Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a -borne pathogen infecting both domestic and wild ruminants. In Europe, the Red Deer () (RD) is considered a potential BTV reservoir, but persistent sylvatic cycle has not yet been demonstrated. In this paper, we explored the dynamics of BTV1 and BTV8 serotypes in the RD in France, and the potential role of that species in the re-emergence of BTV8 in livestock by 2015 (i.e., 5 years after the former last domestic cases). We performed 8 years of longitudinal monitoring (2008-2015) among 15 RD populations and 3065 individuals. We compared communities and feeding habits within domestic and wild animal environments (51,380 samples). diversity (>30 species) varied between them, but bridge-species able to feed on both wild and domestic hosts were abundant in both situations. Despite the presence of competent vectors in natural environments, BTV1 and BTV8 strains never spread in RD along the green corridors out of the domestic outbreak range. Decreasing antibody trends with no PCR results two years after the last domestic outbreak suggests that seropositive young RD were not recently infected but carried maternal antibodies. We conclude that RD did not play a role in spreading or maintaining BTV in France.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11100903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6832957PMC
September 2019

A network-based approach to modelling bluetongue spread in France.

Prev Vet Med 2019 Oct 11;170:104744. Epub 2019 Aug 11.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), University Paris-Est, 14 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France. Electronic address:

Bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) was reported for the first time in Europe in 2006, causing the largest bluetongue outbreak ever recorded. France was mostly impacted in 2007/09. Trade restrictions were implemented all along. Vaccination became available from 2008: a limited number of doses was first administered in an emergency vaccination campaign, followed by two nationwide compulsory vaccination campaigns in 2009 and 2010. France regained a disease-free status in December 2012, but BTV may have kept circulating undetected as infected herds have been reported again since August 2015. We developed a stochastic dynamic compartmental model of BTV transmission in cattle and sheep to analyze the relative importance of vector active flight and host movements in disease spread, and assess the effectiveness of control measures. We represented BTV transmission both within and between French administrative subdivisions called cantons, during the 2007/09 outbreak and until the end of 2010, when compulsory vaccination was interrupted. Within-canton transmission was vector-borne, and between canton transmission could occur through three contact networks that accounted for movements of: (i) vectors between pastures located at close distance; (ii) cattle and sheep between pastures of the same farm; (iii) traded cattle. We estimated the model parameters by approximate Bayesian computation, using data from the 2007 French outbreak. With this framework, we were able to reproduce the BTV-8 epizootic wave. Host movements between distant pastures of the same farm were found to have a major contribution to BTV spread to disease-free areas, thus raising practical questions about herd management during outbreaks. We found that cattle trade restrictions had been well complied with; without them, the whole French territory would have been infected by winter 2007. The 2008 emergency vaccination campaign had little impact on disease spread as almost half vaccine doses had likely been administered to already immune cattle. Alternatively, establishing a vaccination buffer zone would have allowed a better control of BTV in 2008: limiting its spatial expansion and decreasing the number of infected cattle and sheep. We also showed a major role of compulsory vaccination in controlling the outbreak in 2009 and 2010, though we predicted a possible low-level circulation after the last detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.104744DOI Listing
October 2019

Quantifying bluetongue vertical transmission in French cattle from surveillance data.

Vet Res 2019 May 14;50(1):34. Epub 2019 May 14.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety), Paris-Est University, 14 Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 94700, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Bluetongue is a vector-borne disease of ruminants with economic consequences for the livestock industry. Bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) caused a massive outbreak in Europe in 2006/2009 and re-emerged in France in 2015. Given the unprecedented epidemiological features of this serotype in cattle, the importance of secondary routes of transmission was reconsidered and transplacental transmission of BTV-8 was demonstrated in naturally and experimentally infected cattle. Here we used surveillance data from the on-going outbreak to quantify BTV-8 vertical transmission in French cattle. We used RT-PCR pre-export tests collected from June to December 2016 on the French territory and developed a catalytic model to disentangle vertical and vector-borne transmission. A series of in silico experiments validated the ability of our framework to quantify vertical transmission provided sufficient prevalence levels. By applying our model to an area selected accordingly, we estimated a probability of vertical transmission of 56% (55.8%, 95% credible interval 41.7-70.6) in unvaccinated heifers infected late in gestation. The influence of this high probability of vertical transmission on BTV-8 spread and persistence should be further investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13567-019-0651-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6518818PMC
May 2019

Bluetongue virus and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus survey in cattle of the Galapagos Islands.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2019 Mar 19;31(2):271-275. Epub 2019 Jan 19.

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria, Quito, Ecuador (Vinueza).

Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) have both been reported in mainland Ecuador, but their occurrence was unknown in the Galapagos Islands, an Ecuadorian province. We aimed to detect BTV or EHDV in cattle from the 3 main cattle-producing Galapagos Islands at a between-herd design prevalence of 20% and a within-herd design prevalence of 15%. Blood samples were collected from 410 cattle in 33 farms and tested for antibodies against BTV and EHDV by competitive ELISAs. All results were negative, suggesting that BTV and EHDV are not present in the Galapagos Islands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638718824630DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6838815PMC
March 2019

Overview of foot-and-mouth disease awareness among farmers and veterinarians in France.

Vet Rec 2018 08 15;183(5):161. Epub 2018 Jun 15.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, University Paris Est, Anses, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is of major concern in most countries including Europe, where no outbreaks have occurred since a decade. Indeed, the risk of FMD introduction from infected countries is not negligible and the awareness of field stakeholders (farmers, veterinarians) is essential to ensure an effective detection of the viral circulation. The French veterinary services launched in 2015 a survey to estimate the awareness of farmers and veterinarians and their knowledge about epidemiological and regulatory aspects of FMD. Official health visits were used to collect information from cattle farmers and veterinarians through two separate questionnaires. The results show that not all cattle farmers were aware of the risk of FMD reintroduction in France and of its routes of infection and speed of dissemination. As for the veterinarians, their promptness to report a suspicion was dependent on the occurrence of FMD cases in European countries. These results highlight key aspectsregarding FMD epidemiology which should be regularly reminded to the field stakeholders in FMD-free countries to increase their awareness and thus ensure an effective early detection in case of FMD introduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.104733DOI Listing
August 2018

Bluetongue transmission and control in Europe: A systematic review of compartmental mathematical models.

Prev Vet Med 2018 Aug 24;156:113-125. Epub 2018 May 24.

Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory for Animal Health, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), University Paris-Est, 14 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Maisons-Alfort, 94700, France. Electronic address:

The growing frequency of bluetongue virus (BTV) incursions in Europe in recent years led to the largest BTV outbreak ever recorded in 2006/09, with a dramatic impact on the cattle and sheep industries. The complex epidemiology of this vector-borne disease of ruminants and its recent emergence need to be better understood to identify and implement efficient control strategies. Mathematical models provide useful tools for that purpose; many of them have been developed in the light of the 2006/09 outbreak. We aimed to provide a systematic review of compartmental mathematical models dedicated to BTV occurrence or transmission in European countries, to assess robustness of findings to different modelling approaches and assumptions. We identified relevant papers from PubMed and Scopus databases, 21 of which were included in the review following the selection process laid out in the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. We systematically extracted data from these papers to address the diversity and evolution of modelling approaches, and to identify important characteristics for future model development. Then, we summarized the main insights provided into bluetongue epidemiology, and discussed the relevance of these models as tools for risk mapping and for the design of surveillance and control systems. On the whole, the mechanistic models reviewed provided flexible frameworks, yielding mostly epidemiological insights specific to geographical areas and study periods. Despite the limitations of these models that sometimes relied on strong assumptions, we advocate their use to facilitate and inform evidence-based decision-making in animal health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2018.05.012DOI Listing
August 2018

Using serological studies to reconstruct the history of bluetongue epidemic in French cattle under successive vaccination campaigns.

Epidemics 2018 12 17;25:54-60. Epub 2018 May 17.

Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, 75015, France; CNRS UMR2000: Génomique évolutive, modélisation et santé (GEMS), Institut Pasteur, Paris, France; Center of Bioinformatics, Biostatistics and Integrative Biology, Institut Pasteur, Paris, 75015, France.

Bluetongue virus is a vector-borne pathogen affecting ruminants that has caused major epidemics in France. Reconstructing the history of bluetongue in French cattle under control strategies such as vaccination has been hampered by the high level of sub-clinical infection, incomplete case data and poor understanding of vaccine uptake over time and space. To tackle these challenges, we used three age-structured serological surveys carried out in cattle (N = 22,342) from ten administrative subdivisions called departments. We fitted catalytic models within a Bayesian MCMC framework to reconstruct the force of seroconversion from infection or vaccination, and the population-level susceptibility per semester between 2007 and 2016. In the departments of the study area, we estimated that 36% of cattle had been infected prior to vaccine rollout that became compulsory from July 2008. The last outbreak case was notified in December 2009, at which time 83% of the animals were seropositive, under the cumulative effect of vaccination and infection. The probability of seroconversion per semester dropped below 10% after 2010 when vaccination became optional. Vaccine uptake was smaller during the 2012 campaign than during the one in 2011, with strong regional contrasts. Eighty four percent of cattle were susceptible when bluetongue re-emerged in 2015. Thus, serological surveys can be used to estimate vaccine uptake and the magnitude of infection, the relative effect of which can sometimes be inferred using prior knowledge on reported incidence and vaccination dates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epidem.2018.05.005DOI Listing
December 2018

Spatial and temporal patterns of Schmallenberg virus in France in 2016.

Vet Rec 2018 05 14;182(20):575. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety), Epidemiology Unit, Laboratory of Lyon, University Lyon, Lyon, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.104769DOI Listing
May 2018

Firewalls Prevent Systemic Dissemination of Vectors Derived from Human Adenovirus Type 5 and Suppress Production of Transgene-Encoded Antigen in a Murine Model of Oral Vaccination.

Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2018 25;8. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

UMR Virologie INRA, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, ANSES, Université Paris-Est, Maisons-Alfort, France.

To define the bottlenecks that restrict antigen expression after oral administration of viral-vectored vaccines, we tracked vectors derived from the human adenovirus type 5 at whole body, tissue, and cellular scales throughout the digestive tract in a murine model of oral delivery. After intragastric administration of vectors encoding firefly luciferase or a model antigen, detectable levels of transgene-encoded protein or mRNA were confined to the intestine, and restricted to delimited anatomical zones. Expression of luciferase in the form of multiple small bioluminescent foci in the distal ileum, cecum, and proximal colon suggested multiple crossing points. Many foci were unassociated with visible Peyer's patches, implying that transduced cells lay in proximity to villous rather than follicle-associated epithelium, as supported by detection of transgene-encoded antigen in villous epithelial cells. Transgene-encoded mRNA but not protein was readily detected in Peyer's patches, suggesting that post-transcriptional regulation of viral gene expression might limit expression of transgene-encoded antigen in this tissue. To characterize the pathways by which the vector crossed the intestinal epithelium and encountered sentinel cells, a fluorescent-labeled vector was administered to mice by the intragastric route or inoculated into ligated intestinal loops comprising a Peyer's patch. The vector adhered selectively to microfold cells in the follicle-associated epithelium, and, after translocation to the subepithelial dome region, was captured by phagocytes that expressed CD11c and lysozyme. In conclusion, although a large number of crossing events took place throughout the intestine within and without Peyer's patches, multiple firewalls prevented systemic dissemination of vector and suppressed production of transgene-encoded protein in Peyer's patches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2018.00006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788964PMC
January 2019

Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis potentially reveals the existence of two groups of Anaplasma phagocytophilum circulating in cattle in France with different wild reservoirs.

Parasit Vectors 2016 11 22;9(1):596. Epub 2016 Nov 22.

Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, UMR BIPAR, Université Paris-Est, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Background: Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the causative agent of tick-borne fever, a disease with high economic impact for domestic ruminants in Europe. Epidemiological cycles of this species are complex, and involve different ecotypes circulating in various host species. To date, these epidemiological cycles are poorly understood, especially in Europe, as European reservoir hosts (i.e. vertebrate hosts enabling long-term maintenance of the bacterium in the ecosystem), of the bacterium have not yet been clearly identified. In this study, our objective was to explore the presence, the prevalence, and the genetic diversity of A. phagocytophilum in wild animals, in order to better understand their implications as reservoir hosts of this pathogen.

Methods: The spleens of 101 wild animals were collected from central France and tested for the presence of A. phagocytophilum DNA by msp2 qPCR. Positive samples were then typed by multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA), and compared to 179 previously typed A. phagocytophilum samples.

Results: Anaplasma phagocytophilum DNA was detected in 82/101 (81.2%) animals including 48/49 red deer (98%), 20/21 roe deer (95.2%), 13/29 wild boars (44.8%), and 1/1 red fox. MLVA enabled the discrimination of two A. phagocytophilum groups: group A contained the majority of A. phagocytophilum from red deer and two thirds of those from cattle, while group B included a human strain and variants from diverse animal species, i.e. sheep, dogs, a horse, the majority of variants from roe deer, and the remaining variants from cattle and red deer.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that red deer and roe deer are promising A. phagocytophilum reservoir host candidates. Moreover, we also showed that A. phagocytophilum potentially circulates in at least two epidemiological cycles in French cattle. The first cycle may involve red deer as reservoir hosts and cattle as accidental hosts for Group A strains, whereas the second cycle could involve roe deer as reservoir hosts and at least domestic ruminants, dogs, horses, and humans as accidental hosts for Group B strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1888-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5120488PMC
November 2016

Infection with Mycobacterium microti in animals in France.

J Clin Microbiol 2015 Mar 24;53(3):981-5. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

Université Paris-Est, French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses), Laboratory for Animal Health, Maisons-Alfort, France

We describe here 35 animal cases of tuberculosis due to Mycobacterium microti in France (2002-2014). Recently, molecular tools that overcome the difficulty of confirming infection by this potentially zoonotic agent have revealed an increasing number of cases, suggesting that its prevalence may have been underestimated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.02713-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4390619PMC
March 2015

Spread and impact of the Schmallenberg virus epidemic in France in 2012-2013.

BMC Vet Res 2014 Oct 14;10:248. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

Epidemiological Surveillance Unit, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), Maisons-Alfort, France.

Background: The Schmallenberg virus (SBV) emerged in Europe in 2011 and caused a widespread epidemic in ruminants.In France, SBV emergence was monitored through a national multi-stakeholder surveillance and investigation system. Based on the monitoring data collected from January 2012 to August 2013, we describe the spread of SBV in France during two seasons of dissemination (vector seasons 2011 and 2012) and we provide a large-scale assessment of the impact of this new disease in ruminants.

Results: SBV impact in infected herds was primarily due to the birth of stillborns or deformed foetuses and neonates. Congenital SBV morbidity level was on average moderate, although higher in sheep than in other ruminant species. On average, 8% of lambs, 3% of calves and 2% of kids born in SBV-infected herds showed typical congenital SBV deformities. In addition, in infected herds, farmers reported retrospectively a lower prolificacy during the vector season, suggesting a potential impact of acute SBV infection during mating and early stages of gestation.

Conclusions: Due to the lack of available control and prevention measures, SBV spread quickly in the naive ruminant population. France continues to monitor for SBV, and updated information is made available online on a regular basis [http://www.plateforme-esa.fr/]. Outbreaks of congenital SBV are expected to occur sporadically from now on, but further epidemics may also occur if immunity at population level declines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-014-0248-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4210488PMC
October 2014

Schmallenberg virus-two years of experiences.

Prev Vet Med 2014 Oct 3;116(4):423-34. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), Suedufer 10, 17493 Greifswald, Insel Riems, Germany. Electronic address:

In autumn 2011, a novel species of the genus Orthobunyavirus of the Simbu serogroup was discovered close to the German/Dutch border and named Schmallenberg virus (SBV). Since then, SBV has caused a large epidemic in European livestock. Like other viruses of the Simbu serogroup, SBV is transmitted by insect vectors. Adult ruminants may show a mild transient disease, while an infection during a critical period of pregnancy can lead to severe congenital malformation, premature birth or stillbirth. The current knowledge about the virus, its diagnosis, the spread of the epidemic, the impact and the possibilities for preventing infections with SBV is described and discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.03.021DOI Listing
October 2014

Freeze-tolerance of Trichinella muscle larvae in experimentally infected wild boars.

Vet Parasitol 2013 May 5;194(2-4):175-8. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

ANSES, Laboratory for Animal Health, JRU BIPAR, 23 avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons Alfort, France.

Freeze-tolerance of encapsulated Trichinella muscle larvae (ML) is mainly determined by Trichinella species, but is also influenced by host species, the age of the infection and the storage time and temperature of the infected meat. Moreover, the freeze-tolerance of the encapsulated species appears to be correlated to the development of thick capsule walls which increases with age. An extended infection period and the muscle composition in some hosts (e.g. herbivores) may provide freeze-avoiding matrices due to high carbohydrate contents. The present experiment compares freeze-tolerance of Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi ML in wild boar meat 24 weeks post inoculation (wpi). Three groups of four wild boars were infected with 200, 2000 or 20,000 ML of T. britovi (ISS 1575), respectively. Additionally, three wild boars were inoculated with 20,000 ML of T. spiralis (ISS 004) and two animals served as negative controls. All wild boars were sacrificed 24 wpi. Muscle samples of 70 g were stored at -21°C for 19, 30 and 56 h, and for 1-8 weeks. Larvae were recovered by artificial digestion. Their mobilities were recorded using Saisam(®) image analysis software and their infectivities were evaluated using mouse bioassays. Samples frozen for 19, 30 and 56 h allowed recovery of mobile ML, but samples frozen for 1 or 2 weeks did not. Correspondingly, only T. spiralis and T. britovi larvae isolated from wild boar meat frozen for 19, 30 and 56 h established in mice. This study showed that freezing at -21°C for 1 week inactivated T. spiralis and T. britovi ML encapsulated in wild boar meat for 24 weeks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.01.049DOI Listing
May 2013

Evaluation of five serological tests for the diagnosis of porcine brucellosis in French Polynesia.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2013 Apr 8;45(4):931-3. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, EpiMAI ENVA USC ANSES (Laboratoire de Santé Animale), Université Paris-Est, 94704, Maisons-Alfort, France.

Porcine brucellosis due to Brucella suis biovar 1 raises important issues for pig breeders in French Polynesia. In this region, the disease is enzootic, spreads silently and engenders economic losses in infected farms as well as sporadic human cases. While serological tests are essential in surveillance and control programmes of animal diseases, to date none of the available tests have been shown to be reliable enough to be used as a gold standard in routine individual diagnosis of porcine brucellosis. Few studies about the estimation of the sensitivity and the specificity of porcine brucellosis screening tests have been published, none of them dealing with French Polynesia. The studied population included 1,595 pigs from French Polynesia. Five tests were evaluated: Rose Bengal test, fluorescence polarisation assay, indirect ELISA, and two competitive ELISAs (C-ELISA). The sensitivity and the specificity of each test were estimated. C-ELISA2 was the most sensitive test (Se C-ELISA2=0.954 [0.889; 0.992] 95% credibility interval (CrI)) while both C-ELISA and Rose Bengal test (RBT) were the most specific ones (Sp C-ELISA1=0.856 [0.806; 0.915] 95% CrI; Sp C-ELISA2=0.849 [0.817; 0.879] 95% CrI; Sp RBT=0.853 [0.812; 0.898] 95% CrI).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-012-0309-8DOI Listing
April 2013

Evidence-based early clinical detection of emerging diseases in food animals and zoonoses: two cases.

Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 2012 Mar;28(1):121-31, x

Research Unit in Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Applied to Veterinary Sciences (UREAR), Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, B42, Boulevard de Colonster 20, B42, B-4000 Liege, Belgium.

If diseases of food-producing animals or zoonoses (re-)emerge, early clinical decision making is of major importance. In this particular condition, it is difficult to apply a classic evidence-based veterinary medicine process, because of a lack of available published data. A method based on the partition of field clinical observations (evidences) could be developed as an interesting alternative approach. The classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to improve the early clinical detection in two cases of emerging diseases: bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and bluetongue due to the serotype 8-virus in cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2012.01.001DOI Listing
March 2012

Estimation of sensitivity and specificity of five serological tests for the diagnosis of porcine brucellosis.

Prev Vet Med 2012 Apr 5;104(1-2):94-100. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

National Veterinary School of Alfort (ENVA)/French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES), USC Epidemiology of Animal Infectious Diseases Unit (Epi-MAI), 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.

While serological tests are essential in surveillance and control programs of animal diseases, to date none of the common serological tests approved in the EU (complement fixation test or Rose-Bengal test) has been shown to be reliable in routine individual diagnosis of porcine brucellosis, and some more recent tests like ELISA have not been fully evaluated yet. In the absence of a gold standard, this study allowed the estimation of sensitivities and specificities of these tests with a Bayesian approach using Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms. The pig population that was tested included 6422 animals from Metropolitan France. Serum samples were collected from a large population of pigs, representative of European swine population and tested with five brucellosis serological tests: Rose-Bengal test (RBT), fluorescence polarization assay (FPA), indirect ELISA (I-ELISA) and two competitive ELISAs (C-ELISA). The sensitivity and the specificity of each test were estimated. When doubtful results were excluded, the most sensitive and specific test was C-ELISA(2) (Se C-ELISA(2)=0.964, [0.907; 0.994], 95% credibility interval (CrI); Sp C-ELISA(2)=0.996, [0.982; 1.0], 95% CrI). When doubtful results were considered as negative, C-ELISA(2) was still the most sensitive and specific test (Se C-ELISA(2)=0.960, [0.896; 0.994], 95% CrI and Sp C-ELISA(2)=0.994, [0.977; 0.999], 95% CrI). The same conclusions were reached when doubtful results were considered as positive (Se C-ELISA(2)=0.963, [0.904, 0.994], 95% CrI and Sp C-ELISA(2)=0.996, [0.986; 1.0], 95% CrI).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.10.014DOI Listing
April 2012

Co-circulation of bluetongue and epizootic haemorrhagic disease viruses in cattle in Reunion Island.

Vet Microbiol 2012 Mar 21;155(2-4):191-7. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES), 23 Avenue du Général de Gaulle 94706 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in deer have already been isolated in Reunion Island and have caused more or less severe clinical signs in cattle (EHDV) or in sheep (BTV), as observed in 2003. In January 2009, cattle in Reunion Island showed clinical signs suggesting infection by one or the other of these arboviral diseases. A study was set up to determine the etiology of the disease. Analysis by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) performed on blood samples from 116 cattle from different districts of the island detected the presence of the EHDV genome in 106 samples and, in 5 of them, the simultaneous occurrence of BTV and EHDV. One strain of EHDV (7 isolates) and one of BTV were isolated in embryonated eggs and a BHK-21 cell culture. Group and subgroup primer-pairs were designed on the segment 2 sequences available in GenBank to identify and type the EHDV strains. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomic segment 2 (encoding the VP2 serotype-specific protein) of the isolates confirmed the serotypes of these two orbiviruses as BTV-2 and EHDV-6 and allowed them to be compared with previously isolated strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.09.006DOI Listing
March 2012

Colostral antibody induced interference of inactivated bluetongue serotype-8 vaccines in calves.

Vet Res 2011 Feb 2;42:18. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

UMR 1161 VIROLOGIE ANSES-INRA-ENVA, Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail (ANSES), 23 avenue du Général De Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort, France.

Since its introduction into northern Europe in 2006, bluetongue has become a major threat to animal health. While the efficacy of commercial vaccines has been clearly demonstrated in livestock, little is known regarding the effect of maternal immunity on vaccinal efficacy. Here, we have investigated the duration and amplitude of colostral antibody-induced immunity in calves born to dams vaccinated against bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) and the extent of colostral antibody-induced interference of vaccination in these calves. Twenty-two calf-cow pairs were included in this survey. The median age at which calves became seronegative for BTV was 84 and 112 days as assayed by seroneutralisation test (SNT) and VP7 BTV competitive ELISA (cELISA), respectively. At the mean age of 118 days, 13/22 calves were immunized with inactivated BTV-8 vaccine. In most calves vaccination elicited a weak immune response, with seroconversion in only 3/13 calves. The amplitude of the humoral response to vaccination was inversely proportional to the maternal antibody level prior to vaccination. Thus, the lack of response was attributed to the persistence of virus-specific colostral antibodies that interfered with the induction of the immune response. These data suggest that the recommended age for vaccination of calves born to vaccinated dams needs to be adjusted in order to optimize vaccinal efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1297-9716-42-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042407PMC
February 2011

Anatomy of bluetongue virus serotype 8 epizootic wave, France, 2007-2008.

Emerg Infect Dis 2010 Dec;16(12):1861-8

Agence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire des Aliment, Maisons-Alfort, France.

The introduction of bluetongue virus serotype 8 into northern Europe at the end of summer 2006 initiated one of the most widespread epizootics of bluetongue infection ever to occur. In winter 2007-2008, a cross-sectional serologic study was conducted in France along a transect perpendicular to the epizootic wave. Cattle herd-level seroprevalence varied from 4% to 100%, and animal-level seroprevalence from <1% to 40%. Only a low proportion of seropositive herds reported clinical cases in 2007. Sheep flocks were less frequently affected than cattle herds. The local occurrence of clinical cases and environmental indicators linked to forests were seropositivity risk factors, whereas the local density of cows had a protective effect. Overall results suggest that amplification of virus circulation in affected herds played a limited role in the epizootic wave diffusion and that bluetongue virus serotype 8 circulation in natural ecosystems could have played a substantial role in this progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1612.100412DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3294545PMC
December 2010

Chlamydial infections in duck farms associated with human cases of psittacosis in France.

Vet Microbiol 2009 Mar 16;135(1-2):82-9. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

Bacterial Zoonoses Unit, French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA), Maisons-Alfort, France.

Five severe cases of psittacosis in individuals associated with duck farms were notified in France between January and March 2006. Diagnostic examination included serology and/or molecular detection by PCR from respiratory samples. As a consequence, we investigated all duck flocks (n=11) that were housed in the three farms where human infections occurred. While serology by complement fixation test was negative for all samples, cloacal and/or tracheal chlamydial excretion was detected by PCR in all three units. Notably, one duck flock was tested strongly positive in 2 of the 3 affected farms, and Chlamydophila (C.) psittaci strains were isolated from cloacal and/or tracheal swab samples from both farms. Human samples and duck isolates exhibited the same PCR-RFLP restriction pattern, which appeared to be an intermediate between genotypes A and B. Analysis of ompA gene sequences and comparison to those of the type strains showed that the isolates could not be strictly assigned to any of the generally accepted genotypes of C. psittaci. Further analysis by MLVA of the PCR-positive human samples revealed two distinct patterns, which were related to previously isolated C. psittaci duck strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.048DOI Listing
March 2009

Mycobacterium bovis in wildlife in France.

J Wildl Dis 2008 Jan;44(1):99-108

Unité Epidémiologie, Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments, 23 avenue du Général-de-Gaulle, 94706 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France.

In early 2001, tuberculosis-like lesions were detected in three hunter-killed red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Brotonne Forest (Normandy, France), and Mycobacterium bovis was isolated. In subsequent hunting seasons, two surveys were conducted in the area. In the first survey (2001-02 hunting season), nine (13%) of 72 red deer sampled were positive for M. bovis. In the 2005-06 hunting season, the prevalence of M. bovis infection increased to 24% (chi2=3.85, df=1, P=0.05; 33 positive among 138 sampled). The prevalence remained stable in juveniles, but it increased significantly in adults: from 13% in 2001-02 to 32% in 2005-06 (chi2=5.13, df=1, P=0.02). Wild boar (Sus scrofa) were heavily infected in both surveys. One roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and one red fox (Vulpes vulpes) also tested positive in the second survey. Mycobacterium bovis was not isolated from Eurasian badgers (Meles meles). Spoligotyping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeat analysis demonstrated that all M. bovis strains isolated from wildlife were of the same genotype. Thus, the wildlife outbreak involved only a single strain, and this strain was the same as that circulating in nearby cattle herds since 1995. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the presence of macroscopic lesions as a diagnostic criterion were evaluated from the data obtained from red deer. Necropsy seems to be satisfactory as a routine tool to monitor the disease in wild red deer populations in which bovine tuberculosis has become established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-44.1.99DOI Listing
January 2008