First seroprevalence investigation of epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus in Libya
Background: Epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a vector-borne viral disease of domestic and wild ruminants. Epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) is transmitted by Culicoides spp. EHDV is a member of the Orbivirus genus within the Reoviridae family. It shares many morphological and structural characteristics with other members of the genus, such as the bluetongue virus, African horse sickness virus, and equine encephalosis virus.
Aims: The purpose of our study was to investigate the epidemiological situation of EHDV in Libya in order to gain some knowledge about the presence of this virus in the country.
Methods: In this study, we investigated the seroprevalence of EHDV in Libya, testing 855 blood samples collected during 2015. The samples were collected from domestic ruminants (cattle, sheep, and goats) originating from 11 provinces of Libya. Sera were tested by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and positive samples confirmed by serum neutralization test.
Results: The overall seroprevalence of EHDV was estimated to be 4% (95% confidence intervals = 2.8%–5.4%). Small ruminant seroprevalence was significantly (p = 0.016) higher than that found in cattle. Neutralizing antibodies against EHDV-6 were detected in a sheep from the western region of Libya.
Conclusion: This study suggests that EHDV has circulated or is circulating in Libya, and sheep could play an important role in the epidemiology of EHDV, and the virus may still be circulating in North Africa.