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Volume 18, Number 11—November 2012

Research

Lack of Evidence for Zoonotic Transmission of Schmallenberg Virus

Chantal Reusken1Comments to Author , Cees van den Wijngaard1, Paul van Beek, Martin Beer, Ruth Bouwstra, Gert-Jan Godeke, Leslie Isken, Hans van den Kerkhof, Wilfrid van Pelt, Wim van der Poel, Johan Reimerink, Peter Schielen, Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, Piet Vellema, Ankje de Vries, Inge Wouters, and Marion Koopmans
Author affiliations: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands (C. Reusken, C. van den Wijngaard, P. van Beek, G.-J. Godeke, L. Isken, H. van den Kerkhof, W. van Pelt, J. Reimerink, P. Schielen, A. de Vries, M. Koopmans); Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Insel Riems, Germany (M. Beer); Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Lelystad, the Netherlands (R. Bouwstra, W. van der Poel); Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg (J. Schmidt-Chanasit); Animal Health Service, Deventer, the Netherlands (P. Vellema); and Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands (I. Wouters)

Main Article

Table 3

Main characteristics of study participants* in study to determine whether SBV can be zoonotically transmitted, the Netherlands*

Exposure group, risk factor Exposed Participants, no. (%)/additional information
All

Total

301/age 18–88 y; mean 47 y; 25th–75th percentile 36–58 y; 62% male

Exposure to biting insects on SBV-infected farm(s)

Yes 150 (50)
No 71 (24)

Unknown
80 (26)
Farmers, total 234

Working and living on SBV-infected farm

191 (82)

Working on SBV-infected farm

26 (11)

Living on SBV-infected farm

15 (6)

Unknown

2 (1)

Exposure to animals

Sheep

Regular contact with lambs and/or birth products on 
 SBV-infected farm

Yes 110, of whom 88 reported hand (skin) injuries during work

No 31

Total

141

Goats

Regular contact with kids and/or birth products on 
 SBV-infected farm

Yes 3, of whom 3 reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work

No 10

Total

13

Cattle

Regular contact with calves and/or birth products on 
 SBV-infected farm

Yes 90, of whom 72 reported regular (hand) skin injuries during work

No 38

Total



128
Veterinarians

Total

67/1–50 SBV-infected farms visited per veterinarian; median 4

Exposure to animals

Sheep

Contact with malformed lambs and/or birth products

Yes† 19, of whom 18 reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work

No 29

Total

48

Goats

Contact with malformed lambs and/or birth products

Yes† 1 who reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work

No 29

Total

30

Cattle

Contact with malformed calves and/or birth products

Yes† 33, of whom 28 reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work

No 20

Total

53

Contact with malformed lambs/calves during section at 
 Animal Health Service

Yes 11, of whom 6 reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work.

*Overall, 50 (75%) of 67 veterinarians reported contact with malformed lambs/calves and/or birth products of which 40 reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work. Overall, 179 (76%) of 234 farmers, farm residents and farm employees reported regular contact with newborn lambs/calves and/or birth products on SBV-infected farms, of which 140 reported regular hand (skin) injuries during work. SBV, Schmallenburg virus.
†All tested seronegative.

Main Article

1These authors contributed equally to this article.

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