Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 1017–1022 | Cite as

Bluetongue virus seropositivity and some risk factors affecting bluetongue virus infection in sheep flocks

  • Morteza Yavari
  • J. Gharekhani
  • A. Mohammadzadeh
Original Article


Bluetongue (BT) is an insect-transmitted, viral, and non-contagious disease in several species of domestic and wild ruminants. Sheep is the most susceptible host for bluetongue virus (BTV) in ruminants. In current study, 556 serum samples of ewes were assessed by competitive ELISA to investigate the serum status of BTV antibodies and risk factors affecting its seroprevalence in sheep flocks of Hamedan province, west part of Iran. In total, 256 out of 556 (46%) samples were found seropositive against BTV in all examined counties with different prevalence (ranging from 23.9 to 85%). The mean of age in positive and negative groups (2.87 ± 0.83 and 2.94 ± 0.83, respectively) was not significantly different but the seroprevalence rates showed a reduction by increasing of age in sheep herds (P < 0.05). The analyzed data showed that 67.8% of abortions occurred in the second half of pregnancy and 25.0% of abortions happened in the first half of pregnancy period, and only 7.2% of lamb wastage occurred in the first day after labor. An association was found between seropositivity to BTV and abortion history, so that the seropositivity rates in ewes with abortion and non-abortion history were 41.7 and 4.3%, respectively (df = 4, χ2 = 6.73, P = 0.0001). The present study demonstrated the seroprevalence of BT in sheep is considerable in this region, so isolation and identification of involved serotypes of BTV and preparation of a precise control program with emphasis on vaccination and eradication of carriers are suggested for controlling of the BT.


Bluetongue Abortion Seropositivity Sheep Hamedan 



The authors are thankful to our colleagues in the Iranian Veterinary Organization, Hamedan, for their help in sampling. Also, we thank to Dr. Pouya Zamani, Department of Animal Sciences of Bu-Ali Sina University, for the statistical analysis.

Funding information

This study was financially supported by the grant no. 19581 from the Iranian Veterinary Organization, Hamedan, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

During all stages of our study, all applicable international guidelines for the use and care of animals were followed. In addition, this article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. Akhtar S, Djallem N, Shad G, Thieme O (1997) Bluetongue virus seropositivity in sheep flocks in North West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Prev Vet Med 29:293–298CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ali AM, Dennison T, Schauwers SA, Ziay G, Qanee AH (2014) Bluetongue virus sero survey in sheep, goats and cattle flocks of afghanistan: Available online at:
  3. Aradaib IE et al (2005) Serogrouping of United States and some African serotypes of bluetongue virus using RT-PCR. Vet Microbiol 111:145–150. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Breard E, Hamblin C, Hammoumi S, Sailleau C, Dauphin G, Zientara S (2004) The epidemiology and diagnosis of bluetongue with particular reference to Corsica. Res Vet Sci 77:1–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Erasmus BJ, Potgieter AC (2009) The history of BT. In: Pastoret (ed) Series introductory: Biology of animal infections. Elsevier Ltd., pp 7–12Google Scholar
  6. Gerdes GH (2004) A South African overview of the virus, vectors, surveillance and unique features of bluetongue. Vet Ital 40:39–42PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Gür S (2008) A serologic investigation of blue tongue virus (BTV) in cattle, sheep and gazella subgutturosa subgutturosa in southeastern Turkey. Trop Anim Health Prod 40:217–221. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Halder A, Joardar SN, Isore DP, Samanta I, Parui P, Banerjee D, Lodh C (2016) Seroepidemiology of bluetongue in South Bengal. Vet World 9:1–5. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Khezri M, Azimi SM (2012a) Seroprevalence and S7 gene characterization of bluetongue virus in the west of Iran Veterinary World 5Google Scholar
  10. Khezri M, Azimi SM (2012b) Seroprevalence of Bluetongue virus antibodies in sheep in Iran. Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine 1:1–4Google Scholar
  11. Khezri M, Azimi SM (2013) Seroprevalence of bluetongue disease in sheep in west and northwest provinces of Iran. Vet Res Forum 4:195–198PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Kyriakis CS, Billinis C, Papadopoulos E, Vasileiou NG, Athanasiou LV, Fthenakis GC (2015) Bluetongue in small ruminants: an opinionated review, with a brief appraisal of the 2014 outbreak of the disease in Greece and the south-east Europe. Vet Microbiol 181:66–74CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Maclachlan NJ (2011) Bluetongue: history, global epidemiology, and pathogenesis. Prev Vet Med 102:107–111CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Maclachlan NJ, Drew CP, Darpel KE, Worwa G (2009) The pathology and pathogenesis of bluetongue. J Comp Pathol 141:1–16CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Mellor PS, Wittmann EJ (2002) Bluetongue virus in the Mediterranean basin 1998–2001. Vet J 164:20–37CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Mellor PS, Boorman J, Baylis M (2000) Culicoides biting midges: their role as arbovirus vectors. Annu Rev Entomol 45:307–340CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Mertens P, Baylis M, Mellor P (2009) Bluetongue. First edn. Elsevier ScienceGoogle Scholar
  18. Mohammadi AI, Tanzifi P, Nemati Y (2012) Seroepidemiology of bluetongue disease and risk factors in small ruminants of Shiraz suburb, Fars province, Iran. Trop Biomed 29Google Scholar
  19. Mozaffari AA, Khalili M, Sabahi S (2012) High seroprevalence of bluetongue virus (BTV) antibodies in goats in Southeast Iran. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Noaman V, Arzani H (2016) Environmental and host factors affecting seroprevalence of bluetongue virus infections of sheep Comp Clin Pathol:1–7 doi:
  21. Noaman V, Kargar-Moakhar R, Shahmoradi AH, Heidari MR, Tabatabaei J, Nabinejad AR (2008) Use of competitive ELISA for serological detection of blue-tongue virus antibody in sheep and goats of Isfahan province, Iran Pajouhesh-va-sazandegi (In Animal and Fisheries Sciences) 21:39–48Google Scholar
  22. Noroozikia S, Pourmahdi Borujeni M, Haji Hajikolaei MR, Seifi MR (2014) Seroepidemiological survey of bluetongue disease in sheep in Khuzestan province. Iran Vet J 10:103–111Google Scholar
  23. Oryan A, Amrabadi O, Mohagheghzadeh M (2014) Seroprevalence of bluetongue in sheep and goats in southern Iran with an overview of four decades of its epidemiological status in Iran. Comp Clin Pathol 23:1515–1523. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Osburn BI (1994) The impact of bluetongue virus on reproduction. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 17:189–196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Purse BV, Mellor PS, Rogers DJ, Samuel AR, Mertens PPC, Baylis M (2005) Climate change and the recent emergence of bluetongue in Europe. Nat Rev Microbiol 3:171–118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Radostits OM, Done SH (2007) Veterinary medicine: a textbook of the diseases of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and horses, 10th edn. Elsevier Science Health Science Division, WB saunders Company, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Schulz C, Bréard E, Sailleau C, Jenckel M, Viarouge C, Vitour D, Palmarini M, Gallois M, Höper D, Hoffmann B, Beer M, Zientara S (2016) Bluetongue virus serotype 27: detection and characterization of two novel variants in Corsica, France. J Gen Virol 97:2073–2083CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Shoorijeh SJ, Ramin AG, Maclachlan NJ, Osburn BI, Tamadon A, Behzadi MA, Mahdavi M, Araskhani A, Samani D, Rezajou N, Amin-Pour A (2010) High seroprevalence of bluetongue virus infection in sheep flocks in West Azerbaijan, Iran. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 33:243–247CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Taylor W, Mellor P (1994) Bluetongue virus distribution in Turkey 1978–1981. Epidemiol Infect 112:623–633CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Tweedle N, Mellor PS (2002) Technical review-bluetongue: the virus, hosts and vectors vol Version 1.5Google Scholar
  31. Ventura DM, Tittarelli M, Semproni G, Bonfini B, Savini G, Conte A, Lika A (2004) Serological surveillance of bluetongue virus in cattle, sheep and goats in Albania. Vet Ital 40:101–104PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Woldemeskel M, Tilahun G, Tibbo M, Potgieter LN (2000) Prevalence of bluetongue virus antibodies in sheep in central Ethiopia. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 107(10):408-410Google Scholar
  33. World Organisation for Animal Health O (2008) Manual of standards for diagnostic tests and vaccinesGoogle Scholar
  34. Yousef MR, Al-Eesa AA, Al-Blowi MH (2012) High seroprevalence of bluetongue virus antibodies in sheep, goats, cattle and camel in different districts of Saudi Arabia. Veterinary World 5:389–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Para-veterinary SciencesBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran
  2. 2.Department of Parasitology, Central Veterinary LaboratoryIranian Veterinary OrganizationHamedanIran
  3. 3.Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Para-veterinary SciencesBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamedanIran

Personalised recommendations