Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 209–215 | Cite as

Meteorological factors affecting seroconversion of Akabane disease in sentinel calves in the subtropical Okinawa Islands of Japan

  • Yoko HayamaEmail author
  • Tohru Yanase
  • Moemi Suzuki
  • Kazuhiko Unten
  • Hisayuki Tomochi
  • Mayu Kakehi
  • Yukina Shono
  • Takehisa Yamamoto
  • Sota Kobayashi
  • Kiyokazu Murai
  • Toshiyuki Tsutsui
Short Communications


Akabane virus, the pathogen-causing Akabane disease, is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) transmitted by the Culicoides biting midge. A nationwide serological surveillance program for bovine arboviral diseases, including Akabane disease, has been established in Japan to monitor the circulation of arboviruses by targeting sentinel calves. Okinawa, which is located in the southwestern-most region of Japan, is a high-risk area for incursion of arboviruses. The aim of the present study was to identify the meteorological factors related to farm-level seroconversion of Akabane virus by analyzing the serological surveillance data for sentinel calves collected in Okinawa between 2007 and 2015. Rainfall in winter, spring, and autumn was positively associated with seroconversion. Adequate rainfall seems to keep the soil in a suitably moist state for growth and survival of biting midges. Maximum temperature in winter was also positively associated with seroconversion in sentinel calves. The warmer temperatures in winter may provide conditions suitable for shortening the larval development cycle and increase production of adult midges. Our findings indicate that meteorological factors such as temperature and rainfall may be important factors that produce circumstances conducive to effective transmission of the virus between vectors and the host. The results of this study provide a better understanding of the circulation of arboviruses and offer suggestions for developing better surveillance and measures to prevent arboviral disease.


Arboviral disease Akabane disease Culicoides biting midge Japan Meteorological factors Sentinel cattle 


Funding information

This study was supported by the Research Project for Improving Food Safety and Animal Health of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Tokyo, Japan).

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11250_2017_1404_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (68 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 67 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Hayama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tohru Yanase
    • 2
  • Moemi Suzuki
    • 3
  • Kazuhiko Unten
    • 4
  • Hisayuki Tomochi
    • 5
  • Mayu Kakehi
    • 6
  • Yukina Shono
    • 7
  • Takehisa Yamamoto
    • 1
  • Sota Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Kiyokazu Murai
    • 1
  • Toshiyuki Tsutsui
    • 1
  1. 1.Viral Disease and Epidemiology Research Division, National Institute of Animal HealthNational Agriculture and Food Research OrganizationTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Kyushu Research Station, National Institute of Animal HealthNational Agriculture and Food Research OrganizationKagoshimaJapan
  3. 3.Okinawa Prefectural Institute of Animal HealthOkinawaJapan
  4. 4.Okinawa Prefectural Hokubu Livestock Hygiene Service CenterOkinawaJapan
  5. 5.Okinawa Prefectural Chuo Livestock Hygiene Service CenterOkinawaJapan
  6. 6.Okinawa Prefectural Miyako Livestock Hygiene Service CenterOkinawaJapan
  7. 7.Okinawa Prefectural Yaeyama Livestock Hygiene Service CenterOkinawaJapan

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