Diarrhea and loss of production on Dutch dairy farms caused by the Schmallenberg virus

J. Muskens, A.J. Smolenaars, W.H.M. van der Poel, M.H. Mars, L. van Wuijckhuise, M. Holzhauer, H. van Weering, P. Kock

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At the end of August and the first two weeks of September 2011 dozens of veterinary practitioners reported to GD Veekijker (Animal Health Service) several dairy herds with cows with sudden decreased milk production, watery diarrhea and sometimes fever. In the beginning these reports came from the Eastern region of the Netherlands, after that also from the other three regions. The percentages of diseased herds per veterinary practice varied from a few till dozens per cent. Extensive bacteriological, virological and parasitological testing of the feces of sick cows did not reveal an infectious cause of the clinical problems. Recently, 50 stored blood samples of clinically diseased cattle were tested for the Schmallenbergvirus using a PCR, and 36% (18/50) tested positive. A large group of control cows (n=115) was also tested with the PCR and all cattle tested negative. Likely the Schmallenbergvirus was the primary cause of the clinical symptoms in the Dutch dairy herds. Further research will be done to confirm this.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)112-115
JournalTijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • dairy farming
  • milk yield
  • diarrhoea
  • schmallenberg virus
  • cattle diseases
  • orthobunyavirus
  • viral diseases
  • blood specimen collection
  • adult cattle
  • coronavirus

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