Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
ZULU, Gcwalisile B. and VENTER, Estelle H.. Evaluation of cross-protection of bluetongue virus serotype 4 with other serotypes in sheep. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2014, vol.85, n.1, pp. 01-02. ISSN 2224-9435. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v85i1.1041.
Bluetongue (BT) is a non-contagious disease of sheep and other domestic and wild ruminants caused by the bluetongue virus (BTV). Currently 26 serotypes of the virus have been identified. In South Africa, 22 serotypes have been identified and BT is controlled mainly by annual vaccinations using a freeze-dried live attenuated polyvalent BTV vaccine. The vaccine is constituted of 15 BTV serotypes divided into three separate bottles and the aim is to develop a vaccine using fewer serotypes without compromising the immunity against the disease. This study is based on previously reported cross-neutralisation of specific BTV serotypes in in vitro studies. Bluetongue virus serotype 4 was selected for this trial and was tested for cross-protection against serotype 4 (control), 1 (unrelated serotype), 9, 10 and 11 in sheep using the serum neutralisation test. The purpose of the study was to determine possible cross-protection of different serotypes in sheep. Of those vaccinated with BTV-4 and challenged with BTV-1, which is not directly related to BTV-4, 20% were completely protected and 80% showed clinical signs, but the reaction was not as severe as amongst the unvaccinated animals. In the group challenged with BTV-10, some showed good protection and some became very sick. Those challenged with BTV-9 and BTV-11 had good protection. The results showed that BTV-4 does not only elicit a specific immune response but can also protect against other serotypes.