Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 39–51

A sentinel herd system for the study of arbovirus infections in Australia and Papua-New Guinea

  • T. D. St. George

DOI: 10.1007/BF02278479

Cite this article as:
George, T.D.S. Vet Res Commun (1980) 4: 39. doi:10.1007/BF02278479


The establishment, and development between 1969 and 1978, of a system of sentinel cattle in herds located in many areas of Australia and in Papua New Guinea is described. Though the system was established for the study of the epidemiology of a variety of viruses infecting cattle, the study has been limited since 1974 to arboviruses. By means of serology, it was established that bovine ephemeral fever virus was present in Australia in subclinical form between major epidemics but was not detected in Papua-New Guinea. The development of antibody to bovine ephemeral fever virus in individual cattle before they developed clinical signs in epidemics was clearly demonstrated. The sentinel technique was used to demonstrate that subclinical Akabane virus infection in cattle occurred at the time that virus was present in its suspected vector,Culicoidesbrevitarsis which had been collected nearby. The epidemiology of other Simbu group viruses, D'Aguilar virus, and bluetongue virus, (serotype 20) was also studied. A limited programme of arbovirus isolation in tissue cultures produced 0.8% of isolates from 2090 of the blood clots which accompanied sentinel herd serum samples.

The most valuable aspect of the sentinel herd scheme has been the accumulation of a well documented representative set of serum samples for retrospective serology by the use of newly isolated or imported antigens.

Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. D. St. George
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Animal Health, Long Pocket LaboratoriesCSIROIndooroopilly(Australia)